I have to admit I have a great weakness for sweet pickle chips.
Well, actually not just sweet pickle chips, I have a weakness for nearly ALL things pickled.
Chances are if it hangs around on a pickling day it just may get processed into some kind of something sweet or sour or both.
There is something about the simple process and the synergistic reaction of all the ingredients that results in some of the most amazing flavors on earth.
OK, I can get carried away with pickles, but who wouldn’t? I’d rather look at silly pickle pictures on Facebook than all those animal pics. At one time, at another house, in another time, there was a 100 gallon propane tank above the ground to one side of the property. I wanted to paint it like a giant pickle. The gas company told me I would get fined so I didn’t. It was the perfect shape for a giant pickle too!
I get my love of pickles from my Dad. For years now, whenever it is time for a gift, I send him a renewed subscription to The Pickle of the Month Club. He loves them!
Anyway, back to these little gems. They aren’t too sweet. Here are a few pointers:
- Select cucumbers the size of the pickles you want (Look at the diameter and the length)
- Dissolve 1/2 cup salt in some luke-warm water. Add enough ice to cool the water down to cold. After washing add the cucumbers , soak them for 30 minutes in the salt water. There should be enough water to cover the cucumbers.
- By the way, they will float, so dunk them a bit as you work around them. Play like they are submarines . . .
Soaking does a couple of things:
- Helps eliminate any bugs and garden debris
- Starts extracting excess water from the cucumbers so they absorb more brine. This step also helps to not dilute the brine when the cucumbers are added later.
Sweet Pickle Chips
- 2 pounds of wax-less Kirby cucumbers, cleaned and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
- 8 ounces sweet onion, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1 quart of water
- 12 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
Mix brine ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sliced cucumbers and onions, return to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain, discarding liquid unless processing another batch.
Pickling Vinegar Brine
- 10 ounces white vinegar (NOT WINE Vinegar!)
- 13.5 ounces granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed whole allspice berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 cloves fresh garlic – for a fresh garlic flavor
- 1-3 dried red chili pods or red jalapeno pepper – to give some heat!
Combine everything in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. It will need to be stirred to encourage the sugar to melt.
This mixture needs to be boiling when the vegetables are done simmering.
Wash the cucumbers in water slightly warmer than the cucumbers. Soak in a large bowl of cold water with 1/2 cup salt in it.
This helps eliminate any insects and garden debris that may be lurking on the cucumbers.
Mix the simmering brine ingredients, put on the range top over high heat to bring to a boil.
Mix the pickling vinegar brine and put that over high heat, stirring often to prevent the sugar from burning.
Drain the cucumbers after they have been soaking for at least 30 minutes.
Slice the cucumbers and onions into 1/4 inch slices.
When the simmering brine reaches a boil, drop in the cucumbers and onions, return to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the vegetables, discarding liquid (Unless processing another batch).
Place the cukes and onions in a large canning jar. Using a wide mouth funnel, pour the boiling pickling brine into the jar all the way to the top. Leave as little head room as possible. Everything must be submerged under the pickling brine.
If you find there are pieces that want to float, place a small glass plate or dish on the surface to hold everything down.
At first the jars may appear cloudy but as the turmeric and celery seeds settle to the bottom, the vinegar will clear up and you can enjoy looking at gleaming bottles of an amazing turmeric colored sweet pickles!
Resist eating them for at least 4 days but they are amazing if you can hold off for 3-4 weeks. Everything mellows and they become one divine pickle. But if you must, you can taste the next day, just remember they will mellow considerable as they age.
Once you try these, the half sour pickles and the pickled cauliflower, and pickled beets, you will never buy pickles again! I really like that idea – “No processed food unless you process it yourself” is my new motto!
You may notice this recipe is the same as the pickled cauliflower recipe and it is! All I have done is substituted the main pickling ingredient.
Cool thing with these is if you ever need pickle relish and don’t have any, simple chop of some of the pickles and onions and you have a great relish! Especially if you add a red chili or sweet red pepper, but not much. The flavor would overwhelm everything else in the jar.
Remember to serve the onions too! If you use a sweet onion like Vidalia, they become another kind of special.
Keep these in the refrigerator unless you want to process them in a canning process to make them shelf stable.
I find the sweet pickle chips don’t last long enough to can so just get set to make more.
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