Yesterday we finished harvesting the remainder of our vegetables. I'm always happy to put the gardens to bed although we haven't quite finished with that just yet. We have a bushel of small carrots to can, turtle beans and shell beans to shell and leeks to put in the basement for winter storage.
These beauties are Christmas Pickles. We use our very large, over ripe cucumbers to make these. The bigger and yellower the better. They are made with cinnamon oil and clove oil which makes them sweet and zingy at the same time. I could eat an entire jar at one sitting. They are like candy! They go well with baked beans, casseroles or just by themselves. I've posted the recipe below. If anyone has other end of the garden recipes to share, I'd love to have them.
Aunt Edy's Christmas Pickles:
16 large, very ripe cucumbers (ripe, but not soft)
2 large jars of maraschino cherries (or 3 10 oz jars)
7 cups sugar
1 pint white vinegar
1/2 tsp. oil of cloves
1/2 tsp. oil of cinnamon
(I purchase my oils through Lorann, Inc. @ lorann.com)
Remove ends, peel, remove seeds and cut cucumbers into 1 inch pieces. Cook cucumber pieces with water until barely tender. Drain.
Mix syrup ingredients in a pot and heat to a boil. Pour over cucumbers (I put my cukes and syrup in a stock pot) and cover. Let stand over night.
Next morning, pour off syrup into a cooking pot and reheat to boiling. Pour over cucumbers again. Let stand all day and over night.
Next morning, cut cherries in half and add to cucumbers and syrup, juice included. Bring entire contents to a boil. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Wipe tops with clean cloth, remove air bubbles, cover. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes after the canner has returned to a full boil.
( I do not process mine in a hot water bath but that is the "correct" way to finish them. I set my hot jars on a towel and cover with two towels. They seal themselves from the hot syrup/hot jars)
Enjoy - our family and friends love them. The only problem is we never have enough cucumbers left to make enough. I'm going to grow a patch next year just for these pickles!
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