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Brined Vegetables

From the United States Agricultural Department 1935

Brined vegetable pickles are liked particularly for the crisp texture and characteristic flavor developed during the brining process. The vegetables may be prepared either by the short or the long brining process. In the short brine a 5 percent salt solution is used. This permits rapid fermentation and the process is complete in about 2 weeks, depending on conditions of storage. For long brining a 10 percent salt solution is used. The fermentaction is slower and is not complete for from 4 to 8 weeks . The long-brined vegetables are less subject to spoilage, and as the different vegetables come into season they may be put into the brine to cure and later combined into a variety of pickles.

Short-brined or Dilled Pickles .

Dilled Cucumbers or Green Tomatoes

40 to 50 Cucumbers, or green tomatoes
2 ounces mixed pickle spices
Fresh or dried dill
1 pint vinegar
1 pound salt
4 tablespoons sugar
2 Gallons water

Use fresh-picked cucumbers or green tomatoes of uniform size and free from blemish. Wash them well and drain. Into a 5-gallon crock place a layer of dill and spice. Fill the jar with the cucumbers or tomatoes to within 4 or 5 inches of the top. Mix the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water, and pour over the vegetable. Place a layer of dill over the top. Cover with a heavy plate and weight it down to hold the vegetable under the brine. Use only enough brine barely to cover, for as the liquid is drawn from the vegetable the jar may overflow. Each day remove the scum that forms over the top and keep the pickles at even room temperature, about 70° or as warm as 86°F if possible. In about 2 weeks the pickles are ready to use – crisp, well-flavored with dill, and clear throughout with no white spots when cut.

For storage, pack the cured pickles in sterilized quart glass jars, and add 1/2 cup of vinegar to each. Fill up the jars with the pickle brine, but first strain it, bring it to the boil, and cool. Seal the jars airtight and store in a cool dry place.

Sweet Dilled Cucumber or Green Tomato Pickle
40 to 50 firm dilled cucumbers or dilled green tomatoes
12 peeled garlic cloves, if desired
3 pints cider vinegar
1 pint tarragon vinegar
10 pounds granulated sugar
1 pound brown sugar
1/2 cup whole allspice
1/3 cup whole black pepper
6 hot red pepper pods
1 cup olive oil

Slice the dilled cucumbers crosswise about 1/2 inch thick or the dilled green tomatoes very thin, and drain in a colander overnight. In a 3- gallon crock with a lid pack the pickles in layers, if desired using two garlic cloves to each layer. Boil together the vinegar, sugar, and spices for 15 minutes, watching carefully that it does not Boil over, and pour at once over the pickles. Next morning stir in the olive oil. Stir the pickles well each day for 10 days. Store in sealed sterilized jars.

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