When growing and canning your own cucumbers it's always a challenge to figure out what to do with the ones that got missed the last pick, the large ones, the ones that just will never be dills. Luckily for me Margaret came to the rescue with this recipe for bucket pickles. They are lovely, ready very quickly, and don't require canning.
Start with a nice clean ice-cream pail (with lid) fill with slices of the larger cucumbers. Alternate layers of cucumbers with sliced onions and red pepper slices. (1 onion and 2-3 peppers per bucket). Though they are even prettier with the red peppers I leave them out due to allergies.
The next step is making the brine. In a pot mix:
4 cups white sugar
2 cups white vinegar
2 Tbsp. pickling salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. turmeric
Heat to a soft boil over medium heat stirring often and pour over the cucumbers in the bucket. (Yes it is that bright and that smelly, the vinegar is strong.)
The brine won't cover the cucumbers, they will release their own juices to add to the brine that will accomplish this. You can see here about how 'deep' the brine is to start.
You need to keep the pickles in the fridge and stir them once a day for three days then they are ready to eat. Actually once they change colour they are ready to eat, just #1 don't tell my children this and #2 still keep stirring for all three days.
They store in the fridge for up to 6 months. I write the date on the bucket's lid and toss them after they come due, if there are any left that is. Very Yummy! Thanks yet again to Margaret for a great recipe that has served us well for years.
ETA: For our Dill Pickles in a Bucket recipe go here. The first bucket is only a week old, they aren't ready yet, but they are almost all gone. I'm thinking the children like 'em :o)