The cucumbers in our garden this year went absolutely insane. Thank you Cubits for the amazing seeds and for the bumpercrop that they produced. And in no way am I complaining, but it seemed that every time I stepped into the backyard I would return to the house with a small bushel full of GIGANTIC cucumbers. We use no sprays or pesticides in our garden, so the fact that these cucumbers grew like they were on steroids we can only attribute to the great compost we added to our soil and the solid seeds that we started with.
I made Manitoba Pickles, Spicy Garlic Pickles, cucumber salads, gave them away to our neighbours, friends and family and still there were more. Again....not complaining. More expressing shock at the sheer number of cucumbers that kept appearing.
But of all the things I made, my absolute favourite was a small batch of Beau's Beer Honey Pickles. This is what happens on a sunny afternoon when you have bottles of Beau's cooling in the fridge, a garden exploding with cucumbers and empty jars lying about.
Beau's Beer Honey Pickles
4 pounds of medium sized cucumbers
1.5 cups Beau's Lug Tread Beer
1 3/4 cups water (preferably distilled)
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups pickling vinegar
3/4 cups Amber Honey
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 clove of garlic (per jar)
1 tsp black peppercorn (per jar)
1 tsp mustard seed (per jar)
The first thing you want to do with freshly picked cucumbers is to thoroughly wash your cucumbers and then you want to remove the blossom ends (Why? You ask. Find out here). Then slice your cucumbers into 1/2" slices.
In a medium sized pot combine the Beau's Lug Tread beer, distilled water, cider vinegar, pickling vinegar, amber honey and pickling salt. Over medium heat being sure to stir until the honey completely dissolves, bring the mixture to a boil and then turn off the heat.
While your brine mixture is coming to a boil, pack the cucumbers loosely into previously sterilized jars, add 1 clove of garlic, the peppercorn and mustard seed to each jar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, burp each jar to ensure no air is trapped and top up brine level to ensure 1/2" head space. If necessary, wipe rims with damp paper towel. Centre lids on jars; screw on bands fingertip tight.
Process your jars in boiling water for 10 minutes (start timer only when water has achieved a full boil). Remove jars from water and allow to cool. Try to be patient and wait at least a week in order for full flavour. Yield 6-7, 500ml jars