Spicy, sweet or zesty: New pickle flavors to preserve

April 17, 2013

Family Features
Spicy, sweet or zesty, it’s never been easier to enjoy the crisp, tangy taste of homemade pickles. And with recipes like these you can preserve perfect pickles for any palate.
Here are a few tips from the pickling pros at Mrs. Wages to help you give your cukes a kick of great homemade flavor:
n Choose pickling cucumbers, not slicing cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are short and blocky — about 4 inches long. They should be firm and green in color with no blemishes.
n For pickles, you must cut off 1/16 inch from the blossom end to help prevent soft mushy pickles. The blossom end contains an enzyme that will cause softening.
n Keep the cukes cool in the refrigerator until you have enough to make a batch, but do not hold them too long or you will end up with shriveled pickles.
n Use real canning jars. Don’t use jars that once contained peanut butter, pickles, mayo, etc. Clear canning jars are what you need. Use flat lids (called either lid or flat) and a ring to seal the jar. Also check for nicks and cracks — these may cause seal failure.
Find more tips, canning recipes and the Mrs. Wages Canning Guide at www.mrswages.com.
Spicy Pickles
Yield: 7 quarts
9 to 11 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 50 — 3 to 4 inches)
3 1/3 cups Mrs. Wages White Distilled Vinegar (5% acidity)
7 1/3 cups water
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Spicy Pickles Mix (Medium or Hot)
Prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manu­fac­turer’s instructions for sterilized jars.
Wash cucumbers and remove blossom ends; drain. Leave whole, cut into spears or slice.
Combine vinegar and water into a large non-reactive pot. Do
not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, add pickle mix and stir until dissolved.
Pack cucumbers into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving
1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and cap each jar as it is filled. If more liquid is needed for proper headspace, add a mix of
1 part vinegar and 2 parts water (this mixture should be boiling hot).
Process pints 5 minutes, quarts 10 minutes, in a boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s direc­tions. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.
Product is ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving, chill to enhance flavor and crispness.
Note: Processing times are for altitudes less than 1000 feet. At alti­tudes of 1000 feet or more increase processing time 1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude.

Sweet Pickle Relish
Yield: 5 pints
6 to 8 lbs pickling cucumbers
(about 25 — 3 to 4 inches)
1/2 cup Mrs. Wages Canning
and Pickling Salt
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Sweet
Pickle Relish Seasoning
2 1/2 cups Mrs. Wages White
Distilled Vinegar (5% acidity)
2 cups sugar
Prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars.
Wash cucumbers and remove blossoms; drain. Cut into 1-inch pieces and place in a food processor. Process into small pieces (1/8 inch or smaller is best) and place into a bowl. Stir in salt and mix well. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Drain out excess juice by placing in a fine strainer.
Combine pickle relish seasoning, vinegar and sugar into a large non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add prepared cucumbers and simmer 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Evenly divide hot relish into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim and cap each jar as it is filled.
Process pints 15 minutes in boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s directions. If jars do not completely
seal, refrigerate and consume within
one week.
Product is ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving, chill to enhance flavor.
Note: Processing times are for altitudes less than 1000 feet. At altitudes of 1000 feet or more increase processing time 1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude.

Zesty Bread and
Butter Pickles
Yield: 7 quarts
9 to 11 lbs pickling cucumbers
(about 50 — 3 to 4 inches)
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Zesty
Bread & Butter Pickles Mix
8 3/4 cups Mrs. Wages White
Distilled Vinegar (5% acidity)
7 cups sugar
Prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars.
Wash cucumbers and remove blossoms; drain. Cut into thin slices. Whole cucumbers are not recommended.
Combine mix, vinegar and sugar into a large non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture dissolves.
Pack cucumbers into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving 1/2 inch of head­space. Remove air bubbles and cap each jar as it is filled. If more liquid is needed for proper headspace, add hot vinegar.
Process pints 5 minutes, quarts 10 minutes, in a boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s directions. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.
Product is ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving, chill to enhance flavor and crispiness.
Note: Processing times are for altitudes less than 1000 feet. At altitudes of 1000 feet or more increase processing time
1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude.

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