Select the medium, small-sized cucumbers. For one bushel make a brine that will bear up an egg; heat it boiling hot and pour it over the cucumbers; let them stand twenty-four hours, then wipe them dry; heat some vinegar boiling hot and pour over them, standing again twenty-four hours. Now change the vinegar, putting on fresh vinegar, adding one quart of brown sugar, a pint of white mustard seed, a small handful of whole cloves, the same of cinnamon sticks, a piece of alum the size of an egg, half a cup of celery seed; heat it all boiling hot and pour over the cucumbers.
SLICED CUCUMBER PICKLE.
Take one gallon of medium-sized cucumbers, put them into a jar or pail. Put into enough boiling water to cover them a small handful of salt, turn it over them and cover closely; repeat this three mornings, and the fourth morning scald enough cider vinegar to cover them, putting into it a piece of alum as large as a walnut, a teacup of horse-radish root cut up fine; then tie up in a small muslin bag, one teaspoonful of mustard, one of ground cloves, and one of cinnamon. Slice up the cucumbers half of an inch thick, place them in glass jars and pour the scalding vinegar over them. Seal tight and they will keep good a year or more.
CUCUMBER PICKLES. (For Winter Use.)
A good way to put down cucumbers, a few at a time:—
When gathered from the vines, wash, and put in a firkin or half barrel layers or cucumbers and rock-salt alternately, enough salt to make sufficient brine to cover them, no water; cover with a cloth; keep them under the brine with a heavy board; take off the cloth, and rinse it every time you put in fresh cucumbers, as a scum will rise and settle upon it. Use plenty of salt and it will keep a year. To prepare pickles for use, soak in hot water, and keep in a warm place until they are fresh enough, then pour spiced vinegar over them and let them stand over night, then pour that off and put on fresh.
GREEN TOMATO PICKLES. (Sweet.)
One peck of green tomatoes, sliced the day before you are ready for pickling, sprinkling them through and through with salt, not too heavily; in the morning drain off the liquor that will drain from them. Have a dozen good-sized onions rather coarsely sliced; take a suitable kettle and put in a layer of the sliced tomatoes, then of onions, and between each layer sprinkle the following spices: Six red peppers chopped coarsely, one cup of sugar, one tablespoonful of ground allspice, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, a teaspoonful of cloves, one tablespoonful of mustard. Turn over three pints of good vinegar, or enough to completely cover them; boil until tender. This is a choice recipe.
If the flavor of onions is objectionable, the pickle is equally as good without them.
GREEN TOMATO PICKLES. (Sour.)
Wash and slice, without peeling, one peck of sound green tomatoes, put them into a jar in layers with a slight sprinkling of salt between. This may be done over night; in the morning drain off the liquor that has accumulated. Have two dozen medium-sized onions peeled and sliced, also six red peppers chopped fine. Make some spiced vinegar by boiling for half an hour a quart of cider vinegar with whole spices in it. Now take a porcelain kettle and place in it some of the sliced tomatoes, then some of the sliced onions; shake in some black pepper and some of the chopped red peppers; pour over some of the spiced vinegar; then repeat with the tomatoes, onions, etc., until the kettle is full; cover with cold, pure cider vinegar and cook until tender, but not too soft. Turn into a jar well covered and set in a cool place.
Sufficient vinegar to cover the mushrooms; to each quart of mushrooms two blades pounded mace, one ounce ground pepper, salt to taste. Choose some nice young button mushrooms for pickling and rub off the skin with a piece of flannel and salt, and cut off the stalks; if very large, take out the red inside, and reject the black ones, as they are too old. Put them in a stewpan, sprinkle salt over them, with pounded mace and pepper in the above proportion; shake them well over a clear fire until the liquor flows and keep them there until it is all dried up again; then add as much vinegar as will cover them; just let it simmer for one minute and store it away in stone jars for use. When cold tie down with bladder and keep in a dry place; they will remain good for a length of time, and are generally considered excellent for flavoring stews and other dishes.
PICKLED CABBAGE. (Purple.)
Cut a sound cabbage into quarters, spread it on a large flat platter or dish and sprinkle thickly with salt; set it in a cool place for twenty-four hours; then drain off the brine, wipe it dry and lay it in the sun two hours, and cover with cold vinegar for twelve hours. Prepare a pickle by seasoning enough vinegar to cover the cabbage with equal quantities of mace, allspice, cinnamon and black pepper, a cup of sugar to every gallon of vinegar, and a teaspoonful of celery seed to every pint. Pack the cabbage in a stone jar; boil the vinegar and spices five minutes and pour on hot. Cover and set away in a cool, dry place. It will be good in a month. A few slices of beetroot improves the color.
PICKLED WHITE CABBAGE.
This recipe recommends itself as of a delightful flavor yet easily made, and a convenient substitute for the old-fashioned, tedious method of pickling the same vegetable. Take a peck of quartered cabbage, put a layer of cabbage and one of salt, let it remain over night; in the morning squeeze them and put them on the fire, with four chopped onions covered with vinegar; boil for half an hour, then add one ounce of turmeric, one gill of black pepper, one gill of celery seed, a few cloves, one tablespoonful of allspice, a few pieces of ginger, half an ounce of mace, and two pounds of brown sugar. Let it boil half an hour longer, and when cold it is fit for use. Four tablespoonfuls of made mustard should be added with the other ingredients.
Break the heads into small pieces and boil ten or fifteen minutes in salt and water; remove from the water and drain carefully. When cold, place in a jar, and pour over it hot vinegar, in which has been scalded a liberal supply of whole cloves, pepper, allspice and white mustard. Tie the spices in a bag, and, on removing the vinegar from the fire, stir into each quart of it two teaspoonfuls of French mustard, and half a cup of white sugar. Cover tightly and be sure to have the vinegar cover the pickle.
PICKLED GREEN PEPPERS.
Take two dozen large, green, bell peppers, extract the seeds by cutting a slit in the side (so as to leave them whole). Make a strong brine and pour over them; let them stand twenty-four hours. Take them out of the brine, and soak them in water for a day and a night; now turn off this water and scald some vinegar, in which put a small piece of alum, and pour over them, letting them stand three days. Prepare a stuffing of two hard heads of white cabbage, chopped fine, seasoned slightly with salt and a cup of white mustard seed; mix it well and stuff the peppers hard and full; stitch up, place them in a stone jar, and pour over spiced vinegar scalding hot. Cover tightly.
GREEN PEPPER MANGOES.
Select firm, sound, green peppers, and add a few red ones as they are ornamental and look well upon the table. With a sharp knife remove the top, take out the seed, soak over night in salt water, then fill with chopped cabbage and green tomatoes, seasoned with salt, mustard seed and ground cloves. Sew on the top. Boil vinegar sufficient to cover them, with a cup of brown sugar, and pour over the mangoes. Do this three mornings, then seal.
CHOWCHOW. (Superior English Recipe.)
This excellent pickle is seldom made at home, as we can get the imported article so much better than it can be made from the usual recipes. This we vouch for being as near the genuine article as can [Pg 184]be made: One quart of young, tiny cucumbers, not over two inches long, two quarts of very small white onions, two quarts of tender string beans, each one cut in halves, three quarts of green tomatoes, sliced and chopped very coarsely, two fresh heads of cauliflower, cut into small pieces, or two heads of white, hard cabbage.
After preparing these articles, put them in a stone jar, mix them together, sprinkling salt between them sparingly. Let them stand twenty-four hours, then drain off all the brine that has accumulated. Now put these vegetables in a preserving kettle over the fire, sprinkling through them an ounce of turmeric for coloring, six red peppers, chopped coarsely, four tablespoonfuls of mustard seed, two of celery seed, two of whole allspice, two of whole cloves, a coffee cup of sugar, and two-thirds of a teacup of best ground mixed mustard. Pour on enough of the best cider vinegar to cover the whole well; cover tightly and simmer all well until it is cooked all through and seems tender, watching and stirring it often. Put in bottles or glass jars. It grows better as it grows older, especially if sealed when hot.
Peel small onions until they are white. Scald them in salt and water until tender, then take them up, put them into wide-mouthed bottles, and pour over them hot spiced vinegar; when cold cork them close. Keep in a dry, dark place. A tablespoonful of sweet oil may be put in the bottles before the cork. The best sort of onions for pickling are the small white buttons.
Let the mangoes, or young musk-melons, lie in salt water, strong enough to bear an egg, for two weeks; then soak them in pure water for two days, changing the water two or three times; then remove the seeds and put the mangoes in a kettle, first a layer of grape leaves, then mangoes, and so on until all are in, covering the top with leaves; add a lump of alum the size of a hickory nut; pour vinegar over them and boil them ten or fifteen minutes; remove the leaves and let the pickles stand in this vinegar for a week; then stuff them with the following mixture: One pound of ginger soaked in brine for a day or two, and cut in slices, one ounce of black pepper, one of mace, one of allspice, one of turmeric, half a pound of garlic, soaked for a day or two in brine and then dried; one pint grated horse-radish, one of black mustard seed and one of white mustard seed; bruise all the spices and mix with a teacup of pure olive oil; to each mango add one teaspoonful of brown sugar; cut one solid head of cabbage fine; add one pint of small onions, a few small cucumbers and green tomatoes; lay them in brine a day and a night, then drain them well and add the imperfect mangoes chopped fine and the spices; mix thoroughly, stuff the mangoes and tie them; put them in a stone jar and pour over them the best cider vinegar; set them in a bright, dry place until they are canned. In a month add three pounds of brown sugar; if this is not sufficient, add more until agreeable to taste. This is for four dozen mangoes.
PICKLE OF RIPE CUCUMBERS.
This is a French recipe and is the most excellent of all the high-flavored condiments; it is made by sun-drying thirty old, full grown cucumbers, which have first been pared and split, had the seeds taken out, been salted and let stand twenty-four hours. The sun should be permitted to dry, not simply drain them. When they are moderately dry, wash them with vinegar and place them in layers in a jar, alternating them with a layer of horse-radish, mustard seed, garlic and onions for each layer of cucumbers. Boil in one quart of vinegar, one ounce of race ginger, half an ounce of allspice and the same of turmeric; when cool pour this over the cucumbers, tie up tightly and set away. This pickle requires several months to mature it, but is delicious when old, keeps admirably, and only a little is needed as a relish.
One gallon of oysters; wash them well in their own liquor; carefully clear away the particles of shell, then put them into a kettle, strain the liquor over them, add salt to your taste, let them just come to the boiling point, or until the edges curl up; then skim them out and lay in a dish to cool; put a sprig of mace and a little cold pepper and allow the liquor to boil some time, skimming it now and then so long as any skum rises. Pour it into a pan and let it cool. When perfectly cool, add a half pint of strong vinegar, place the oysters in a jar and pour the liquor over them.
RIPE CUCUMBER PICKLES. (Sweet.)
Pare and seed ripe cucumbers. Slice each cucumber lengthwise into four pieces, or cut it into fancy shapes, as preferred. Let them stand twenty-four hours covered with cold vinegar. Drain them; then put them into fresh vinegar, with two pounds of sugar and one ounce of cassia buds to one quart of vinegar, and a tablespoonful of salt. Boil all together twenty minutes. Cover them closely in a jar.
One peck of green tomatoes; eight large onions chopped fine, with one cup of salt well stirred in. Let it stand over night; in the morning drain off all the liquor. Now take two quarts of water and one of vinegar, boil all together twenty minutes. Drain all through a sieve or colander. Put it back into the kettle again; turn over it two quarts of vinegar, one pound of sugar, half a pound of white mustard seed, two tablespoonfuls of ground pepper, two of cinnamon, one of cloves, two of ginger, one of allspice, and half a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper. Boil all together fifteen minutes or until tender. Stir it often to prevent scorching. Seal in glass jars.
A most delicious accompaniment for any kind of meat or fish.
Pickled eggs are very easily prepared and most excellent as an accompaniment for cold meats. Boil quite hard three dozen eggs, drop in cold water and remove the shells, and pack them when entirely cold in a wide-mouthed jar, large enough to let them in or out without breaking. Take as much vinegar as you think will cover them entirely and boil it in white pepper, allspice, a little root ginger; pack them in stone or wide-mouthed glass jars, occasionally putting in a tablespoonful of white and black mustard seed mixed, a small piece of race ginger, garlic, if liked, horse-radish ungrated, whole cloves, and a very little allspice. Slice two of three green peppers, and add in very small quantities. They will be fit for use in eight or ten days.
AN ORNAMENTAL PICKLE.
EAST INDIA PICKLE.
Lay in strong brine for two weeks, or until convenient to use them, small cucumbers, very small common white onions, snap beans, gherkins, hard white cabbage quartered, plums, peaches, pears, lemons, green tomatoes and anything else you may wish. When ready, take them out of the brine and simmer in pure water until tender enough to stick a straw through—if still too salt, soak in clear water; drain thoroughly and lay them in vinegar in which is dissolved one ounce of turmeric to the gallon. For five gallons of pickle, take two ounces of mace, two of cloves, two of cinnamon, two of allspice, two of celery seed, a quarter of a pound of white race ginger, cracked fine, half a pound of white mustard seed, half a pint of small red peppers, quarter of a pound of grated horse-radish, half a pint of flour mustard, two ounces of turmeric, half a pint of garlic, if you like; soak in two gallons of cider vinegar for two weeks, stirring daily. After the pickles have lain in the turmeric vinegar for a week, take them out and put in jars or casks, one layer of pickle and one of spice out of the vinegar, till all is used. If the turmeric vinegar is still good and strong, add it and the spiced vinegar. If the turmeric vinegar be much diluted do not use it, but add enough fresh to the spiced to cover the pickles; put it on the fire with a pound of brown sugar to each gallon; when boiling, pour over the pickle. Repeat this two or three times as your taste may direct.
Scald in salt water until tender cauliflower heads, small onions, peppers, cucumbers cut in dice, nasturtiums and green beans; then drain until dry and pack into wide-mouthed bottles. Boil in each pint of cider vinegar one tablespoonful of sugar, half a teaspoonful of salt and two tablespoonfuls of mustard; pour over the pickle and seal carefully. Other spices may be added if liked.
For blueberry pickles, old jars which have lost their covers, or whose edges have been broken so that the covers will not fit tightly, serve an excellent purpose as these pickles must not be kept air-tight.
Pick over your berries, using only sound ones; fill your jars or wide-mouthed bottles to within an inch of the top, then pour in molasses enough to settle down into all the spaces; this cannot be done in a moment, as molasses does not run very freely. Only lazy people will feel obliged to stand by and watch its progress. As it settles, pour in more until the berries are covered. Then tie over the top a piece of cotton cloth to keep the flies and other insects out and set away in the preserve closet. Cheap molasses is good enough, and your pickles will soon be “sharp.” Wild grapes may be pickled in the same manner.
PICKLED BUTTERNUTS AND WALNUTS.
These nuts are in the best state for pickling when the outside shell can be penetrated by the head of a pin. Scald them and rub off the outside skin, put them in a strong brine for six days, changing the water every other day, keeping them closely covered from the air. Then drain and wipe them (piercing each nut through in several places with a large needle) and prepare the pickle as follows: For a hundred large nuts, take of black pepper and ginger root each an ounce; and of cloves, mace and nutmeg, each a half ounce. Pound all the spices to powder and mix them well together, adding two large spoonfuls of mustard seed. Put the nuts into jars (having first stuck each of them through in several places with a large needle), strewing the powdered seasoning between every layer of nuts. Boil for five minutes a gallon of the very best cider vinegar and pour it boiling hot upon the nuts. Secure the jars closely with corks. You may begin to eat the nuts in a fortnight.
Ten pounds of watermelon rind boiled in pure water until tender; drain the water off, and make a syrup of two pounds of white sugar, one quart of vinegar, half an ounce of cloves, one ounce of cinnamon. The syrup to be poured over the rind boiling hot three days in succession.
SWEET PICKLE FOR FRUIT.
Most of the recipes for making a sweet pickle for fruit, such as cling-stone peaches, damsons, plums, cherries, apricots, etc., are so similar, that we give that which is most successfully used.
To every quart of fruit, allow a cup of white sugar and a large pint of good cider vinegar, adding half an ounce of stick cinnamon, one tablespoonful of whole cloves, the same of whole allspice. Let it come to a boil, and pour it hot over the fruit; repeat this two or three days in succession; then seal hot in glass jars if you wish to keep it for a long time.
The fruit, not the liquor, is to be eaten, and used the same as any pickle. Some confound this with “Spiced Fruit,” which is not treated the same, one being a pickle, the other a spiced preserve boiled down thick.
Damsons and plums should be pricked with a needle, and peaches washed with a weak lye, and then rubbed with a coarse cloth to remove the fur.
Select small, sound ones, remove the blossom end, stick them with a fork, allow to each quart of pears one pint of cider vinegar and one cup of sugar, put in a teaspoonful allspice, cinnamon and cloves to boil with the vinegar; then add the pears and boil, and seal in jars.
Seven pounds of fruit, four pounds of sugar, one pint of good cider vinegar, one tablespoonful of ground cinnamon, one teaspoonful of cloves. Put into a kettle and boil until the fruit is soft; then skim out the fruit, putting it on dishes until the syrup is boiled down thick. Turn the fruit back into the syrup again, so as to heat it all through; then seal it hot in glass jars, and set it in a cool, dark place.
Any tart fruit may be put up in this way, and is considered a very good embellishment for cold meats.
Seven pounds of plums, one pint of cider vinegar, four pounds of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of broken cinnamon bark, half as much of whole cloves and the same of broken nutmeg; place these in a muslin bag and simmer them in a little vinegar and water for half an hour; then add it all to the vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil; add the plums and boil carefully until they are cooked tender. Before cooking the plums they should be pierced with a darning needle several times; this will prevent the skins bursting while cooking.
Take the pulp from the grapes, preserving the skins. Boil the pulp and rub through a colander to get out the seeds; then add the skins to the strained pulp and boil with the sugar, vinegar and spices. To every seven pounds of grapes use four and one-half pounds of sugar, one pint of good vinegar. Spice quite highly with ground cloves and allspice, with a little cinnamon.
Select sound, large cherries, as large as you can get them; to every quart of cherries allow a large cupful of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, a dozen whole cloves, and half a dozen blades of mace; put the vinegar and sugar on to heat with the spices; boil five minutes, turn out into a covered stoneware vessel; cover and let it get perfectly cold; pack the cherries into jars, and pour the vinegar over them when cold; cork tightly and set away; they are fit for use almost immediately.