My first batch of cucumber seeds never sprouted, my second attempt was late. However, many people already have cucumbers coming in. Here are two recipes to help you out a bit.
Kosher Dill Pickles.
4 quarts water
6 tablespoons coarse white Kosher salt
18-20 cucumbers, scrubbed
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly-crushed
2 tablespoons pickling spice (recipe below)
6 bay leaves
1 large bunch of dill, going to seed, washed
In a large pot, heat 1 qt of the water with salt until dissolved. Add the remaining water.
Sterilize 3 quart canning jars
divide the garlic, spices, bay leaves, and dill amongst them.
Pack the cucumbers vertically into the jars, making sure are very tightly-packed.
Fill the jars with brine so that the cucumbers are completely covered. Hot water bath for 20-30 minutes. Ready to eat in 3 days.
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon ground mace
2 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces
24 bay leaves, crumbled
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger.
In a small dry pan, combine peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds. Place over medium heat and stir until fragrant, careful not to burn them. Keep the lid handy in case seeds pop. Crack peppercorns and seeds in mortar and pestle (or use the side of a knife on cutting board).
Mix together all ingredients. Store in a tightly sealed plastic or glass container.
2-1/2 pounds 3-inch pickling cucumbers, well-scrubbed and quartered into spears (about 12 cups spears)
4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 heads dill
2 medium sweet white onions, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 12 1/2inch-thick slices
7 whole cloves
Place cucumbers in a large bowl.
In a large saucepan, stir together vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, celery seeds, cloves and pepper. Bring to a boil over a high heat, stir to dissolve sugar. Pour hot vinegar mix over sliced cucumbers. Allow to sit until cool enough to touch.
Put dill and 1 slice of onion at the bottom of each of your sterile jars.
Pack into sterile quart jars. ladle vinegar mix over cucumbers in the jar, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process in hot water bath for 5, 10, 15 minutes depending on how high you are from sea level.
Got leftover juice? Pickle sweet peppers the same way, or make sweet cucumber relish.