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. 

The nice thing about picking all these cucumbers really small is that it buys you some time before the next round of pickling cukes matures (since you removed a generation before they grew up). This comes in handy if you, perhaps, are a little tired of pickling and need a break.

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