Sour pickles are first prepared by soaking in a brine made of one pint of coarse salt to six quarts of water. Boil this, and pour it scalding hot over the pickle, cucumbers, green tomatoes, &c. Cucumbers may lie in this a week, or a month even, but must be soaked in cold water two days before using them. Other pickles lie only a month.
Half a bushel of cucumbers, small, and as nearly as possible the same size. Make a brine as directed, and pour over them. Next morning prepare a pickle as follows: Two gallons of cider vinegar; one quart of brown sugar. Boil, and skim carefully, and add to it half a pint of white mustard seed; one ounce of stick-cinnamon broken fine; one ounce of alum; half an ounce each of whole cloves and black pepper-corns. Boil five minutes, and pour over the cucumbers. They can be used in a week. In a month scald the vinegar once more, and pour over them.
One peck of green tomatoes; six large green peppers; six onions; one cup of salt. Chop onions and peppers fine, slice the tomatoes about quarter of an inch thick, and sprinkle the salt over all. In the morning drain off all the salt and water, and put the tomatoes in a porcelain-lined kettle. Mix together thoroughly two pounds of brown sugar; quarter of a pound of mustard-seed; one ounce each of powdered cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper; half an ounce of allspice; quarter of an ounce each of cayenne pepper and ground mustard. Stir all into the tomatoes; cover with cider vinegar,—about two quarts,—and boil slowly for two hours. Very nice, but very hot. If wanted less so, omit the cayenne and ground mustard.
RIPE CUCUMBER OR MELON-RIND PICKLES.
Pare, seed, and cut lengthwise into four pieces, or in thick slices. Boil an ounce of alum in one gallon of water, and pour over them, letting them stand at least half a day on the back of the stove. Take them out, and let them lie in cold water until cold. Have ready a quart of vinegar, three pounds of brown sugar, and an ounce of stick-cinnamon and half an ounce cloves. Boil the vinegar and sugar, and skim; add the spices and the melon rind or cucumber, and boil for half an hour.
SWEET-PICKLED PEACHES, PEARS, OR PLUMS.
Seven pounds of fruit; four pounds of brown sugar; one quart of vinegar; one ounce of cloves; two ounces of stick-cinnamon. Pare the peaches or not, as liked. If unpared, wash and wipe each one to rub off the wool. Boil vinegar and sugar, and skim well; add spices, sticking one or two cloves in each peach. Boil ten minutes, and take out into jars. Boil the sirup until reduced one-half, and pour over them. Pears are peeled and cored; apples peeled, cored, and quartered. They can all be put in stone jars; but Mason's cans are better.
Boil one bushel of ripe tomatoes, skins and all, and, when soft, strain through a colander. Be sure that it is a colander, and not a sieve, for reasons to be given. Add to this pulp two quarts of best vinegar; one cup of salt; two pounds of brown sugar; half an ounce of cayenne pepper; three ounces each of powdered allspice and mace; two ounces of powdered cinnamon; three ounces of celery-seed. Mix spices and sugar well together, and stir into the tomato; add the vinegar, and stir thoroughly. Now strain the whole through a sieve. A good deal of rather thick pulp will not go through. Pour all that runs through into a large kettle, and let it boil slowly till reduced one-half. Put the thick pulp into a smaller kettle, and boil twenty minutes. Use as a pickle with cold meats or with boiled fish. A teacupful will flavor a soup. In the old family rule from which this is taken, a pint of brandy is added ten minutes before the catchup is done; but it is not necessary, though an improvement. Bottle, and keep in a cool, dark place. It keeps for years.
THE EASIEST WAY IN HOUSEKEEPING AND COOKING.
Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes