Summer is here in East Texas and cucumbers are beginning to make in the gardens. One of my favorite summer traditions at my house growing up, was making 14 Day Sun Pickles with my Mother. If she did not grow her own cucumbers, she would buy some from nearby farmers. These pickles are so easy to make, and incredibly delicious. They have a distinct taste and if you don't watch it, they can even be addicting.
With us having 100 degree temperatures here in East Texas, it is perfect for making some. One of the neat things about this recipe is that you can make one jar or 12 jars at a time, depending on how many cucumbers you have. You simply pack your jars with cucumbers lengthwise. Add a fresh sprig of dill, one garlic bud, one small hot pepper, and a teaspoon of dill seeds. Pour a solution of water, vinegar, and salt over the cucumbers and seal. Here comes the unique way to process them. You put them in the hottest part of your yard in a single row and leave them there for 14 days! If it rains one day, you leave them out there an extra day (even if it rains a half a day; leave an extra half a day). The heat of the sun during the day and then the cooling down at night causes the lids to seal. You store them on a shelf until you are ready to serve them or set a jar in the refrigerator to chill before you serve them.
Last summer my sister brought us a home cooked meal on our first weekend home from being in the hospital off and on for six months. And as you can see, she brought me a jar of pickles. We floundered ourselves over this wonderful meal and savored every bite.
14 Day Sun Pickles
canning jars that have been boiled in hot water and drained (quart or pints depending on size of your cucumbers)
Place in each jar:
2-3 garlic bud
1 small hot pepper
1 fresh dill head with stem
1 teaspoon dill seed
Now add cucumbers in jars until jar is packed. Combine, but do not heat:
1 quart water
1 quart vinegar
1 cup salt (see note)
pinch of alum (optional)
Pour liquid over cucumbers, garlic, etc. Seal with lids that have heated in hot water. Set outside in the sun and leave for 14 days. Store on shelf and refrigerate before serving.
Note: You can adjust the salt to your taste. I have had some feedback that they use 2/3 cup. Make additional vinegar solution as needed for how many jars is needed.
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