Bread-and-Butter Pickle Slices
So Easy to Preserve, 2006
yield about 8 pints
6 pounds of 4 to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
8 cups thinly slices onions, about 3 pounds
1/2 cup salt
Crushed or cubed ice
4 cups vinegar (5%)
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 tablespoons celery seed
1 tablespoon ground tumeric
1 cup pickling lime (optional)
Preparation-Wash cucumbers. cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch rings. Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl. Add salt. Cover with 2-inches crushed or cubed ice. Refigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.
Preparation variation for Firmer Pickles-Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and dicard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime, 1/2 cup salt and 1 gallon water in a 2 to 3 gallon crock, glass container or enamelware container. CAUTION: Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution.
Soak cucumber slices in lime water for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution, rinse and resoak one hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle.
To Make Pickles-Add sugar and remaining ingredients to vinegar in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes. Add well drained cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling. Fill pint or quart jars with slices, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Fill to 1/2 inch from top with hot cooking liquid. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process pints or quarts for 10 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath.
After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks before use to develop ideal flavor.
--I had never used lime in making pickles so I chose this recipe and went with the lime variation. There is no doubt that they are crisper than using the standard ice method.
(I did these last week before we went on vacation)