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Butterscotch Brownies

August 29, 2018

Butterscotch Brownies, Butterscotch Blondies, Blondies, Blond Brownies:  so many names.

I have been searching for a really good recipe and this came to my attention earlier this year.  And I think what makes these the best, is browning the butter and sprinkling the batter with flaky salt.  So yummy…….

I don’t believe in putting any add ins and/or mix ins into the quintessential Blondie.  My personal opinion here.  I may change my mind in the future but for now I will leave adding anything to the batter up to you.  Suggestions are on the bottom of the recipe.

I also really appreciate that the recipe has weights as well.  I encourage you all to get a scale and use it.

So, unfortunately I cannot access the original recipe for you because it’s on The New York Times Cooking website which you now need a subscription.  Didn’t need one when I printed the recipe in February.  😦   So I am writing this exactly how Yossy Arefi had it.  You can check out her blog, too:   www.apt2bakingco.com.  Unfortunately this recipe is not in it but she has some other great ones in there.  So sorry about this, against my blogging ethics not to have the original recipe linked.

Butterscotch Blondies by Yossy Arefi, The New York Times Cooking

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan  (I use salted butter in ALL my recipes, I can’t tell the difference, up to you here which one 🙂  Also I never grease the pan with butter, I always use canola oil spray)

1-1/2 cups (330 grams) dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1-3/4 cups (224 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Any mix-in you like (see NOTE)

1/4 teaspoon flaky salt (optional but I don’t think so)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray or butter 9 x 9 inch baking pan with canola oil spray.  Line with parchment paper (see picture below for a guide).

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Cook butter, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a heat proof rubber spatula (I also like to move the pan in a circular motion instead of using the spatula until the very end) until it turns deep golden brown and smells nutty (I never smell the nutty smell, oh well :/ )  DO NOT WALK AWAY from the pan during this process.  The butter can go from brown and nutty to acrid and burnt in mere moments.  ( I can attest to this, it has happened and then you have to throw butter OUT (yikes) and start all over.)  Transfer the butter and all the brown bits from the pan to a large heat-safe bowl to cool slightly.  (When I first made brown butter, I threw out the brown bits:  hahaha!)

When the butter is cool (I usually measure out the other ingredients after I have browned the butter and by the time I am finished, the butter is cool enough), add the sugar and whisk until smooth (if you find this difficult (I do) use a hand held mixer to do the mixing).  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt along with any mix-ins, with a rubber spatula, until well combined and no streaks of flour remain in the batter.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired.

Bake the blondies until set and slightly puffy, 20-27 minutes.  For gooey blondies, err on the short side of the baking time.  (I bake mine for 24 minutes)  Cool before slicing.

NOTE:  Add ins

1 cup chopped white or milk chocolate

1 cup toasted chopped nuts

1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup dried whole cherries or apricots, chopped

1/4 cup crumbled halva

2 tablespoon bourbon or rum or 1 tablespoon espresso powder, mixed in with butter and sugar

Sprinkle of cinnamon or cardamom, mixed in with the butter and sugar.

Swirl in 2 to 4 tablespoons Nutella, peanut butter or tahini into the top of the batter before baking.

 

Spray pan with Pam or something equivalent.  I use these Cookie baking sheets all the time.  Cut one in half and both halves fit perfectly into the 9″x 9″ pan.

how to brown butter:

start melting the butter:

it will get foamy:

and then start to clear up:

then it will get slightly foamy again and start to turn brown, it should look like this:

then pour into a heat proof bowl:

mise en place:

add sugar, then eggs and vanilla:

Fold in flour mixture (and add ins if you are adding):

until smooth:

pour into prepared pan:

sprinkle with flaky salt (this was not very good, try to sprinkle it evenly, not like me):

out of the oven:

when completely cool, place brownie on cutting board:

remove the parchment paper:

and cut into bars:

yum!

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Super Chocolatey Cookies

January 23, 2018

These are the most chocolatey cookies I have ever made so far.  They are SO good, even when they are STALE they are good.  Just sayin’.

So the first time I made these I was a sticky chocolatey mess, so heed the refrigeration recommendation.  They are definitely needed.  And don’t get lazy and substitute chips for the chopped chocolate.  Get a bar of yummy Ghiradelli chocolate and chop into nice chunks.

The original recipe name is Super Chocolatey Buttons but these are not button size.  They are about twice the size because they make about 30 cookies versus the 60-65 yield in the original recipe.  The baking is a bit longer but not much.  I just don’t have a cookie scoop that small.

I followed the recipe exact except I really don’t like the look of the cookie after rolling it in the cocoa. I think it’s an extra step that’s not really needed.  If you choose to go that route, use a less expensive cocoa to roll them in and save your more expensive brand for the cookie dough.  I did do both:  just confectioners sugar and confectioners sugar and cocoa so you could see which one you liked.  With just the confectioners sugar they do look like snowflake cookies, so I don’t know, you decide: haha!  I was also thinking of rolling them in white sprinkles:  wouldn’t that be interesting!  They would look like chocolate nonpareils!

Super Chocolatey Cookies (from Food Network)

4 ounces of butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (Ghiradelli is my preferred brand)

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped in chip size pieces (Ghiradelli again here)

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoon buttermilk (you might be able to get away with milk here as a substitute but I have not tried that)

1 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder (Valrhona is my favorite:  Whole Foods or Amazon)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup confectioners sugar, for rolling

1/2 cup cocoa powder, for rolling, optional (like Hershey’s which is readily available at supermarkets)

Whisk together the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder (Valrhona or comparable) and salt in a medium bowl.

Place eggs, vanilla and buttermilk into a medium bowl.

Place butter, unsweetened chocolate and 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe medium bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute on high.  Stir for 1 minute until ingredients are completely combined.  If there is still a bit of lumpy chocolate left, microwave for 10 seconds only, and stir again.

Pour melted chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and start mixing on low with the paddle.  Add the white and brown sugars and mix for 1 minute.  Add the eggs/vanilla/buttermilk and mix until thick and glossy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the flour mixture  and beat on low speed until almost combined.  Then add in the 1/2 chip size semi sweet chocolate and mix until just combined.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Scoop out refrigerated dough into generous 1 tablespoon balls or use the purple cookie scoop from King Arthur flour to form the balls.  Place balls onto a smaller rimmed cookie sheet (that will fit in your refrigerator) that has been lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Half way in the second refrigeration, turn your oven on to 350 degrees.

Place 1/4 cup confectioners sugar in a small bowl.  Place 1/2 cup of supermarket brand cocoa powder in another small bowl, if using.

Place parchment paper on rimmed cookie sheet.

When hour is up, take one ball and place in confectioners sugar, covering with sugar.  Remove coated cookie ball and do the same with the cocoa powder (if using) and place on prepared cookie sheet.  Continue with the other balls of cookie dough, placing about 2 inches apart.  Take the uncoated balls and put them back in the refrigerator.  Place cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes, turning cookie sheet mid way.  They should still be soft in the middle when done.  Place cookie sheet on cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove cookies onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the rest of the cookie balls.

melted chocolate mixture and sugars:

and beat for 1 minute:

add egg mixture and beat 2-3 minutes:

flour, cocoa powder and salt:

mix into batter and then add chunks of semisweet chocolate:

cover and place in refrigerator:

cookie balls formed and then go into refrigerator for another hour:

coating with just confectioners sugar:

coating in confectioners sugar and then cocoa powder:

baked with just the confectioners sugar coating:

baked with confectioners sugar and cocoa powder coating:

cooling:

yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce

January 17, 2018

I love that this recipe uses lamb instead of beef for meatballs and uses a mix of spices to enhance that flavor.  Smells great too.

I tweaked a little bit on the recipe but not much: I used crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes.  They get crushed anyway in the recipe, so why add another step?  I omitted Rosemary and Red Pepper Flakes because I’m not a fan but please feel free to add them if you like.  The quantities are in the original recipe that has been linked.  And don’t omit the Feta Cheese OR the Mint.  I  think it finishes off this dish perfectly.

I served this over rice and my son used the meatballs as a filling for a sandwich served on crusty bread.  There is not a great deal of sauce so I think rice is the way to go rather than pasta.  Mashed potatoes sounds good to me too as well as polenta.

Lamb meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce (from New York Times Cooking)

meatballs:

1 medium onion, finely diced

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 pounds ground lamb

sauce:

1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

1/4 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon cumin

pinch cinnamon

pinch cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1-3 inch strip of orange peel

1/4 cup orange juice, from small orange that you got the peel from

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

topping:

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoon finely diced mint leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a very large bowl, put the ingredients for the meatballs:  onion through parsley.  Mix thoroughly.  Add ground lamb and with a large fork stir to combine. Mix until you see the other ingredients evenly dispersed in the lamb.   Try not to mix too heavily or the meatballs will be dense and hard.

Place parchment paper onto a cookie baking sheet with sides.  Form lamb mixture into 1-1/2 to 2 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.  Cook in oven for 20 minutes.

While lamb is cooking, prep for the sauce.  In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and bay leaf and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add tomatoes, sugar, orange peel, orange juice, salt and pepper.   Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Set aside.

When lamb is done, using a slotted spoon, place meatballs into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Remove bay leaf and orange strip and pour tomato sauce over top and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with feta cheese and mint leaves.

onion through parsley in large bowl:

mix thoroughly:

add lamb:

mix lightly but completely:

form into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet:

sauce ingredients:

topping:

cook onions, thyme, cumin, cayenne, bay leaf for sauce:

add tomatoes, sugar, orange peel, juice, salt and pepper and simmer:

sauce complete:

lamb cooked and put into 9 x 13 baking dish:

cover with the sauce and bake in the oven:

lamb meatballs done, then top with the feta and mint and serve:

yum:

Berry French Toast

January 9, 2018

I have been making this for Christmas morning for about 10 years now.  We all love it.  Great combo of bread, eggs and lots of fruit.  You can serve it with bacon, ham or whatever your heart desires.  It’s also great left over and warmed up the next morning or the morning after that (if there is any left, that is)!

I finally was able to take pictures (not possible on Christmas morning :/) because my husband and I were invited to a brunch on New Year’s day and I thought this would be perfect to bring.  I also figured out how to prep the casserole for the evening before so it wasn’t so daunting to put together the morning of.  So this is a great strategy for Christmas Eve for Christmas morning.

I also have done ALOT of different things with this casserole to come to this point, so learn from my mistakes:

The casserole cannot be put together entirely the night before.  Trust me it was not great.

The French bread they suggest was bland, no flavor.

I used 12 ounces of Cinnamon Bread, unsliced, from Hannaford’s Supermarket:  no.

I added 1 more whole egg:  not necessary.

Then I tried 12 ounces of Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread, sliced.  This turned out the best but not enough bread.

Finally I used the whole loaf of Pepperidge Farm bread, and this turned out to be perfect.

Also, for the frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries I used a mix of these berries rather than getting individual frozen bags of each.  Wyman’s of Maine Triple Berry Blend or Trader Joe’s Fancy Berry Medley.  Though if these are not available to you I would suggest getting individual bags of each (see the link to the original recipe from Cooking Light) rather than getting mixed berries with strawberries and removing the strawberries.  Unless you love frozen strawberries and can put them to use.

Berry French Toast adapted from Cooking Light April 2004

5 cups of frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries NO STRAWBERRIES)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup milk (fat free, 1%, 2% whatever you have on hand)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 large egg whites

1 large egg

1, 16 ounce loaf of Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Place berries, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon into prepared 13 x 9 inch baking dish and toss together until thoroughly combined.  You might have to move the sugar mixture around a bit.

Cut bread into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes.

Combine milk, vanilla, egg whites, and egg in a large bowl.  Stir together with a whisk until thoroughly combined.  Add bread and toss together until the bread is coated and the liquid is nearly gone.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Arrange bread in a single layer over berries.  Sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until berry mixture is bubbly and the bread  is golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

To prep for the night before so you can put it together quickly the next morning:

Cut the bread into cubes and put in large Ziploc bag.

Combine the milk, vanilla, egg whites and egg in medium bowl, stir together with a whisk and cover with plastic wrap to seal.  Put in refrigerator and place bag of cubed bread on top.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon in a small plastic container with lid and set aside on counter.

Have a tablespoon, the sugar and powdered sugar on the counter with the sugar mixture.

Place a 9 x 13 glass baking dish next to the above with the cooking spray.

You are now all set for the next morning.

As soon as you get up, put the oven on and combine the egg mixture with the bread.

Spray the baking dish and put the frozen berries into it and sprinkle with the sugar mixture, toss to combine.

When the oven has come to temperature, arrange the bread on top of the berries and sprinkle with the sugar.

Continue as above.

mis en place:

mix berries with sugar mixture:

cubed bread then toss with egg mixture:

spread bread mixture over berry mixture:

out of the oven, 30-45 minutes:

Yum!

Twice Cooked Pork Tenderloin

December 4, 2017

This is a very simple, possible weekday dinner option.  The sauce and tenderloin can be increased easily to accommodate more people for dinner making this a  dinner party idea as well.

I doubled the sauce for 1 pound (3 people plus) and 1-1/2 pounds (4 people plus) of pork tenderloin.  But you could easily fit 2, 1 lb. pork tenderloins in the saucepan for 6 people, tripling the sauce (see linked recipe for original amounts and options besides mustard).

Twice Cooked Pork Tenderloin from Mark Bittman New York Times Cooking

1 to 1-1/2 boneless pork tenderloin, about 1 – 1-1/2 pounds

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard, grainy or smooth

Put a large skillet (not non-stick) over medium to medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Sear meat on all sides until nice and brown, approximately 6 minutes, turning every 1-2 minutes.   Remove pan from burner (keeping heat on), then remove pork onto cutting board.

Cut meat into 1-1/2 inch slices (it will be rare).  Put skillet back on burner and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place pork slices, cut side down, into pan and brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes each side.  Do not over cook.  You may have to remove smaller pieces before.

Remove pork slices onto a plate.

Add 1/2 cup of water to pan and cook and stir, scraping up any browned pieces, for 1 minute.

Reduce temperature to medium/medium-low, and add cream and mustard.  Cook and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the pork slices back in, and cook for about 1-2 minutes until heated through, turning slices so they are all covered with the sauce.

Serve immediately with rice, noodles or mashed potatoes.

searing meat on all sides:

cutting pork and setting aside:

sauce, heavy cream and mustard:

adding more oil and butter:

searing pork slices on both sides:

smaller pieces removed first and others added to dish, set aside:

adding water:

then cream and mustard:

coating/cooking pork slices in sauce:

yum!

 

 

 

Flourless Fudge Cookies

November 23, 2017

I needed to send a cookie thank you to a gluten free person.  I had never baked gluten free.  It was interesting, not entirely successful but I’m happy to say that these cookies came out of my experimentation and they are delicious!

I tried Pillsbury BEST Multi-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend on my standard chocolate chip cookies.  Grainy, the batter was weird, they baked up weird, terrible and I threw them out.

Next I sent away for King Arthur Flour Measure For Measure Gluten Free Flour.  Made my standard chocolate chip cookies.  I must say they looked almost exactly like my cookies with regular flour: the dough and even how they baked up.  Tasted better.  KAF definitely knows what they are doing in the GF department, so that would be my go to choice if I was GF.  I did include those in my cookie thank you.

But my daughter, Sarah, suggested an entirely flourless cookie and this is the recipe she sent me.  They are amazing and from King Arthur Flour who not only has great recipes but a BLOG Flourish, that helps you get through the tricky part of a recipe.   Read the recipe twice, read the blog twice and you are good to go 🙂

Things that you must have for this recipe:  a scale, borrow one if you must.  But to tell you the truth if you don’t have one this is a perfect opportunity to get one.  More and more recipes include weight measurements because they are more accurate.  And I use mine for more than just baking.  It has proven very useful for weighing vegetables, meat, etc.

Also, really good cocoa powder.  Valrhona is my favorite, which you can get on Amazon or Whole Foods.  Also King Arthur Flour sells excellent cocoa powder as well.

If you go to the King Arthur flour recipe they will give you volume measurements as well.

Flourless Fudge Cookies from King Arthur Flour and Flourish

9 ounces confectioners sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon espresso powder

3 ounces cocoa powder, the best you can afford, natural or Dutch process

3-3/4 to 4 ounces of egg whites (from 4 eggs)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

12 ounces Ghiradelli semi-sweet mini chips (the original recipe also suggests nuts or chopped dried fruit but I haven’t tried that yet)

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with canola oil spray.

Whisk together the egg whites (start with 3-3/4 ounces first) and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, confectioners sugar through cocoa powder.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.  Keep on stirring until fully incorporated.  I have made this recipe twice and both times I needed the extra 1/4 ounce of egg white to finish.

The batter will be very thick.

Add the chips and stir until completely incorporated.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet, keeping them at least 3 inches apart.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and let the cookies sit for 30 minutes.  This is VERY important.  You can clean up while the cookies are sitting, plan dinner, call a friend to chat.  Something.  But let them sit for 30 minutes 🙂

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes.  They will be ever so slightly crackly on top. Let them sit on the baking sheets until completely cool.  Then remove from the baking sheets.

Please READ the recipe and the blog.  Your size cookies might be different and thus the baking times might be different.

I made 22 cookies with the cookie scoop I had.

prepare baking sheets:

measure egg whites:

mise en place:

dry ingredients whisked:

add wet ingredients:

stir together thoroughly and add chips:

complete batter:

scoop onto baking sheets and let rest for 30 minutes:

preheat oven:

when cookies are done, let rest until completely cool:

yum!

 

Ice Water Pickles

November 14, 2017

This recipe has been a long time coming.

I had watched my mother make these several times over the years at our our childhood home, taking copious notes and asking lots of questions but the process never stuck.  Finally I really needed to know how to make them (I had, for the first time, an abundance of cucumbers I had grown myself) so my sister, Barb, suggested we do it together at my house with our mother there for guidance.  Perfect and it worked!  We did it one more time without our mother and then finally I did it by myself.

The recipe actually has 2 parts.  The making of the pickles and preserving.  It’s hard to explain preserving without actually watching and participating in the process. Making the pickles is the easy part.

This is also my Mom’s recipe.  Even though she has been gone for a long time, it’s quite difficult for me to write a recipe that is hers.  I miss her all the time.

Anyway, before I start crying on the keyboard, I will make the best attempt I can to explain how to do this.  Once you have accomplished the canning part, you will not be afraid to do other canning, like jam.  Which I have also done.

This is quite a unique recipe.  I really have no idea where my mother got it.  It’s like no other pickles I have ever had.  When I was very young, like 5,  and  I went out to dinner with my family, my mother would bring the pickles to the restaurant.  I would eat pickles and crackers for my meal because I refused to eat anything on the menu.  Ah, well, times have changed.  Obviously I no long survive on pickles alone these days.

Before I get started with the recipe, you will need several things.  You will NOT need any special canning implements.  What you have on hand will serve you well.  I do not have anything special to can and I like to keep it that way.  There are plenty of other things I would like to get besides canning stuff.  And I only do this once a year.

You will need ALOT of ice.  If you can’t make your own then get a 5 lb. bag of ice from the store.  Canning jars with lids.  I like, these from Ball.  Cucumbers from a farmer’s market or similar.  You need 8 lbs.  So call ahead to your market if you can.  I get mine from Dykeman Farm in Pawling, New York.

The only thing you might need to buy is a 10 plus quart bowl.  You could easily borrow this as well if you know someone.  And if you really like the results you could buy one.  I have my Mom’s so it is ceramic, heavy and has a crack in it.  I take good care of it.  You can use a stainless steel bowl or buy a really nice ceramic one from here.

Give yourself a day to make these.  I can do it in 6 hours but only because I have made them many times and do alot of prep work.

Ice Water Pickles from Helen Girling

1 gallon (8 lbs.) sliced cucumbers

5 white onions, sliced

3 whole garlic cloves

1/3 cup salt

3 (1-1/2) cups white vinegar

5 (2-1/2) cups sugar

1 (1-1/2 teaspoons) tablespoon mustard seed

2 (1 teaspoon) teaspoons celery seed

Clean the canning jars in the dishwasher (this can be done the night before) and then place jars in a large heavy saucepan 8 quarts or more, cover with water by at least one inch.  Cover pan and place pan on stove and turn heat to medium.  I usually do 16 jars, so I use 2 large saucepans with lids.

Take the lids and bands and put them in a bowl with hot sudsy water.  Clean and rinse thoroughly.  Separate the lids and bands.  Put the lids in a small saucepan. Put the bands on paper towels close to where you will be canning.

Clean the cucumbers in warm water and dry.  Set aside.

If you do not have a food processor, borrow one.  This will become an extremely laborious endeavor if you do not have one.  I don’t know how my mother did it by hand.  When they first came out with the food processor she was the first to get one.  What a time saver.

You will also need long tongs to get the jars out of the hot water.  A smaller tong to get the cooked cucumbers into the jar.  And a small ladle to get the syrup into the jar.  Pot holder and plenty of paper towels.  Below are pictures for the whole set up.

You will also need 2 more very large heavy saucepans to make the cucumbers into pickles.  You can borrow these, too, if you don’t have them.  And anyone you have borrowed stuff from gets pickles!!  They should be happy 🙂

Cut the ends off of each cucumber.  Then cut them in half.  Put the halves into the Cuisinart, cut side down, and slice them using the #2 slicer.   You should have 1 gallon of sliced cucumbers.  Put them in the very large bowl.  Take the onions, peel and cut a little bit off if you have to, to fit completely whole, stem side down in the Cuisinart.  Slice the onions using the #2 slicer and place in the bowl with the cucumbers.  Take the bowl and put it into your clean dry sink (unless you are taller than me, 5 ft. 1 in., I cannot get enough leverage on the counter) and mix the cucumbers and onions with your very clean and dry hands.  Put in the salt and mix  again by hand.  Take the garlic and put them deep into the cucumber/onion mixture in 3 different places.  Take the bowl and place on a cookie sheet with sides, on the counter.  Cover the whole thing with ice.  And I mean cover.  Cover until the ice comes up to the top of the bowl.  Let sit for 3 hours.

While the cucumbers are icing, prep for the next stage.

If the jars have come to a nice simmer on the stove, turn the heat off and set them aside on cutting boards on the counter.

Take the 2 other large saucepans, and put one on each burner.  Place half the syrup ingredients in each pan (the 1/2 ingredients are in parenthesis).   Bring to a boil and then turn off heat.

Set yourself up with cutting boards and such next to the stove.  See picture below.  Eat something, like lunch.  Because once you start putting pickles in the jars you cannot stop.  And drink plenty of water.  Remember, you are doing this in July when cucumbers are ready.  If you don’t have air conditioning in your house you will be sweating.  Brings back memories of my own mother sweating:  yikes!  I have air conditioning though.  I’m a lucky girl 🙂

So the 3 hours are up and you are ready to can.

Add water to the small sauce pan with the lids, to cover, and bring to a simmer on the stove.

Bring the iced cucumbers over to the sink and take off the ice.  By this point the ice has become almost one sheet of ice, so it will be easy to dump it in the sink.  Remove any stray ice cubes.

Put a very large colander into your clean sink.  Drain the cucumbers into the colander.  Remove the 3 garlic cloves.

Place the sauce pans with the syrup back onto the stove.  Divide the cucumbers between the 2 pans and turn the heat up to medium/medium high.  Bring the cucumbers to a boil and cook until they look like pickles (exact quote from my mother 🙂 ).

Also, put the pan with the jars back on the stove and bring to a simmer

When the cucumbers look like pickles, remove from heat and place right next to your canning set up.

Carefully remove 1 jar from the hot water with tongs and drain.

Put pickles using the small tongs and syrup using the small ladle into jar, leaving a quarter inch space from the top of jar.

Clean the rim of the jar thoroughly with a hot wet paper towel.

Take the tongs and remove one lid, shaking it free of water.

Place on top of jar.

Then take one band and place it on the jar twisting to seal.  You will need a pot holder to hold the jar.  Remember you just took it out of HOT water.

Set aside on a cutting board.

Continue doing this with all the pickles.

When you are done, reseal the jars one more time by giving it one more twist.  Let them sit there overnight.  The next day, make sure the pickles have been canned properly.  Press down on the lid.  If there is any movement at all, it did not seal properly.  Just put the unsealed jar into the refrigerator, let it get nice and cold and enjoy!

The other jars that have been sealed, clean with a warm cloth to remove any sticky residue.  They are now ready to give away or to be stored so you can eat them over the winter.

cleaning the cucumbers:

cucumbers in the dry, clean sink, with onions, tossed together:

add salt and toss again:

place garlic cloves into the cucumber/onion mixture:

cover with ice and place on a cookie sheet with sides (I also have a towel underneath because there is a crack in the bowl) :

jars in pan covered with water:

syrup:

lids in water:

the set up with the bands dry and waiting:

after 3 hours:

drain the cucumbers and remove the garlic:

bring the syrup to a simmer/boil and add half the cucumbers/onion mixture:

progression of how the cucumbers transform to pickles:

drain the jar and start adding pickles and syrup:

jar filled, wipe rim of jar thoroughly with a hot paper towel:

top with lid and then band:

all done (with 1/2 anyway):

finished product, let sit overnight and then test for sealing the next day: