Instead of bringing the same old macaroni salad to a picnic this summer, why not contribute your own homemade Hot Dog Relish and Hamburger Pickles?!
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden, but most of us will probably, at least once in a summer, end up with a grocery bag full of some vegetable that a friend just too many to know what to do with. If that bags happens to be cucumbers, I can't think of anything better to whip up and share than a few jars of pickles.
This recipe is adapted from the Ball Book guide to preserving.
3 pint jars or 6 1/2 pint jars, lids and rings, sterilized
6 pounds cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup canning salt
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 quart plus 3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 quart plus 1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/4 inch by 1 inch piece ginger
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
Put cucumber slices in a large bowl; sprinkle with salt; mix thoroughly. Let stand 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain thoroughly. Combine turmeric, 3 cups vinegar and 1 quart water in a sauce pot; brine to a boil; pour over cucumbers. let stand until cold; drain. Taste cucumbers; if too salty, rinse thoroughly; drain. Combine granulated sugar, 1 quart vinegar and 1 cup water in a large sauce pot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to pickling liquid. Simmer 15 minutes; pour pickling liquid over cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight. Discard spice bag and drain pickles, reserving pickling liquid. Bring pickling liquid to a boil. Pack jars with pickles, pour over liquid leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner.