With gardening season winding down, make pickles

Published 5:26 am Wednesday, August 8, 2007

By Staff
It's the end of the gardening season and the perfect time to make pickles. Pickles add zip and zest to your meals, snacks, and party refreshments - if they are good pickles. There are several methods of making pickles. One is the slow, traditional way of soaking cucumbers in brine for 4 to 6 weeks, removing the salt, and then adding sugar, vinegar, and spices - or leaving them plain for salt pickles. Other methods take from several hours to 3 weeks.
No matter which way you choose to make your pickles we have the perfect pamphlet for you. It's called Pickles and Relishes HE-71. It will walk you through the process; discuss pickling problems, and much, much more. Call our office at (251) 867-7760 and we will mail your free copy to you. Here are this week's most requested pickle recipes. The Chow Chow and Piccalli are similar but the brown sugar makes a difference. Enjoy!
Quick-Method Pickled Peaches
5 quart peeled peaches  
1-1/4 teaspoon mixed pickling spices
6-1/2 c. sugar  
10 cloves
1 quart cider vinegar  
5 small pieces of stick cinnamon
Use firm, ripe peaches suitable for pickling - Hiland, Cardinal, Red Haven, Dixie Red, Cornet, Redcap, etc. Make syrup of 6-1/2 cups sugar and 1 quart cider vinegar. Heat syrup, and add peeled peaches. Let fruit and syrup simmer for 10 minutes. To each quart-sized standard canning jar, add 1/4 teaspoon mixed pickling spices, 2 cloves, and 1 small piece of stick cinnamon. Add hot fruit to the jar; cover with hot syrup, and adjust the lid. Process in boiling waterbath canner (212 degrees F) for 25 minutes. Let peaches &#8220season” at least 1 week. To develop their best flavor, wait 6 weeks.
Yield: 5 quarts
Pear Pickles
4 quart pears (peeled, cored, and cut in halves or quarters)  
2-1/ 2 sticks cinnamon
1 pint water
2 quart sugar
2 Tablespoon whole allspice  1 quart cider vinegar
Boil pears in a covered vessel in 1 pint water for 10 minutes. Tie spices loosely in a thin cloth bag. Combine the water the pears were cooked in, sugar, vinegar, and spices, and heat to boiling. Pour over pears, and let stand overnight in covered vessel. Drain, and boil syrup until thick. Add pears and cook until tender. Do not stir, but keep pears under syrup. Pack into hot standard canning jars, and cover with syrup. Wipe jar mouth, and adjust lid. Process in a boiling waterbath canner (212 degrees F) for 10 minutes.
Yield: about 8 pints  
NOTE: If Kieffer pears are to be used, you get best results by gathering pears when about 2/3 to 3/4 mature. The best stage is when the green in immature fruit gradually fades and the fruit becomes lighter or slightly yellow. Spread out-one layer deep -in a cool (about 60 to 65 degrees F), dry place for about 2 weeks. The pears will have better flavor and texture. Then proceed according to recipe.

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