All Pickles Great And Small
Still lots of cucumbers, so still lots of pickles to make. Last week I found myself with some P.O.U.S.es, both extra large:
and extra small:
The extra large were a mistake (their yellowing betrays how long they managed to remain hidden on the vine--they are much bigger and older than they should be, but I didn't see them when they were small and green). The tiny ones, though, I picked way early on purpose to make gherkins.
I sliced the accidentally large cucumbers into thick slices (about 3/8 of an inch) to make sandwich pickles. Once again, I used the Ball Blue Book for a recipe. Basically the spice mix is turmeric, celery seed, mustard seed, and brown sugar, and I also added some dill seed. The big cucumbers make for nice, big rounds to cover a burger or sandwich. We ended up with three pints:
The sandwich slices only took a day to make, but the sweet gherkins are a week-long process. I used the recipe in the Ball Book again, but there is an almost identical recipe with a really nice canning tutorial at pickyourown.org. This recipe is kind of a pain, but the results are so delicious:
It's a lot of work for only three pints, and by rights we should be paying waaay more for this delicacy in the grocery store than we do.