How to make pickles

August 12, 2010 | Category: Amish, Food | Posted by: Sarah

The Amish are known for their skills in canning. My husband & I are growing cucumbers this year, and we planted 2 cucumber vines… little did we know that we’d be getting at least five cucumbers each week! So we were looking out for any recipes we could find that had cucumbers.

Of course, I had to try canning some to make pickles! Here is the recipe that we tried from a hand written Amish cookbook that we found.

Kosher Dill Pickles

Soak cucumbers in strong salt water overnight. In the morning, take out and rinse well with water.

1 qt. vinegar
1 c. salt
2 level tbls. prepared mustard (*we’re assuming mustard seeds)
1 1/2 heaping tbls. pickling spices
4 qts. water
3/4 c. sugar

Bring the above ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat. In bottom of each qt. jar put one sprig of green dill weed, 1 clove of garlic, and 2 or 3 slices of onion. Fill jars with pickles and put the same on top. Pour syrup over pickles. Put on lids. Cold pack just to the boiling point.

Keep these in the fridge, and they’ll keep for a year!

Share your favorite pickle recipes with me, and I’d be happy to try them out!

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  1. Carolyn
    on August 12th, 2010

    I have never canned before but can you tell me what this means?
    “Cold pack just to the boiling point”
    Growing up, we’d do it similarly.
    pack cukes into a jar, top w/ bread (Also used vinegar, salt and dill brine as u stated) then set out in the sun for a few days.

  2. Sarah
    on August 12th, 2010

    Cold packed means the cucumbers are raw when they’re packed in the jars. Hot liquid is added over the cold cucumbers. So the liquid is just boiling, and then you pour it over the cold cucumbers.

  3. Tina Sams
    on August 12th, 2010

    A group of us got together to share cucumber recipes because of the obvious need. If you’re interested, here is my blog with the list:

  4. Nancy
    on August 12th, 2010

    prepared mustard is powdered mustard seed,
    I think!

  5. Harl Delos
    on August 12th, 2010

    Yes, prepared mustard is a dry yellow powder.

    Be sure to trim off both ends of the cucumber before you make pickles, because there’s an enzyme that will make the pickles soft. Don’t just rinse the cucumbers, either – scrub them with a vegetable brush before you cut them into spears or slices (or can them whole.)

    I don’t mean to suggest that the spices don’t make a difference, because they do, quite a bit, but the most important thing in making genuine dills is to let them ferment a long time. Sometimes, people will have a vat that ferments a decade or longer before they get turned into pickles. You add an excess of salt to the brine, and they’ll keep virtually forever. When you get ready to finish them off, you soak them in fresh water so that the fermenting process speeds up.

    To make sweet pickles, you make dill pickles first, and then soak them in really sweet juice. To make pickle relish, grind up the sweet pickles. The more sugar you add to the juice, the sweeter the relish, and the better it tastes.

    The onion and the garlic in that recipe are optional; I don’t know of anyone who has ever made it without the dill, though.

    To cold-pack something, you blanch it, then dip it into fresh cold water. You put it in clean hot jars, add hot liquid, and then process the jars at atmospheric pressure to seal them. Hot packing involves putting hot foot into the jars complete with hot liquid and processing. Because the sale makes the pickles acidic, you don’t need to pressure-can them. Cold packing helps preserve the texture and color.

    With the internet, you don’t have to have a Ball Blue Book or Kerr Red Book, but if you don’t, make sure you get your advice from a Extension Agent site, as bad canning can be deadly, and there are a lot of well-meaning people who give bad advice.

    Over the last year or two, I’ve bought a lot of pickles at Sharp Shopper, Amelia’s, Ollies and Odd Lots, and many of them, I have noted, are not listed as items on the manufacturer’s website. For good reason, too. Apparently, they try out experimental recipes, and many of them aren’t very good. If you use an old, trusted family recipe for spices, that’d be a smart move.

  6. Bernice Hewett
    on August 29th, 2012

    I would like to know how to make watermelon R. pickles

  7. bb
    on June 16th, 2013

    Hi and have been making pickles for the last ten years and always find great recipes on the internet. I just heard of a great pickle called amish Cajun dill and can not find that recipe on line. My most favorite is a receipe by marguerite miltner for cucumber pickles. last year from my garden I made 4 pts. but this year I intend to make more as they are my family favorites also.. I found some great recipes on line and make a golden flow sweet pickle from our old place in Vt.

  8. bb
    on June 16th, 2013

    that is golden glow not flow…b

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