Learning to make homemade pickles

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather. I have a few more recipes that I think will accent your collections nicely.

Juanita McClanahan in McCalla is my great aunt. She gives me recipes to publish from time to time. Juanita’s pickles are some of the best around and are good for snacks as well.

I found this recipe for sloppy Joes online this week. Everyone loves a sloppy Joe, but sometimes it is nice to enjoy a classic dish with a small twist.

I invented this barbecue sauce a few years ago, back when I worked at the former Old Smokey BBQ restaurant in Leeds. I literally dreamed one night that I was making this sauce. When I woke up I wrote down all the measurements and ingredients. It turned out to be a really great sauce, and I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as I have.

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Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef, browned

2 tablespoons of butter

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1½ cups of mushrooms, chopped

2 tablespoons of ketchup

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

½ a teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of black pepper

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 cup of beef broth

2 cups of provolone or Swiss cheese

Hamburger buns

Once the ground beef has been browned in a skillet, then add the vegetables, butter and seasonings. Sautee the mixture to your own liking. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook until it has slightly thickened. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns.

Mary’s Green Beans

Green beans, washed and snapped

1 teaspoon of salt

Water

Jars

Pressure cooker

Stuff the green beans in the jars and add 1 teaspoon of salt to each jar. Fill the jars with water, but leave a space at the top of the jar. Place the lids and pressure cook the jars for 20 minutes on 10 pounds of pressure. Once the time is up turn off the stove, but leave the pressure cooker in place and let the pressure go down to zero on its own. After it reaches zero remove the jars and allow them to cool.

Andrew’s BBQ Sauce

8 cups of vinegar

12 cups of white sugar

2 cups of French’s yellow mustard

8 cups of dark brown sugar

2 large cans of tomato paste

2 cups of Worcestershire sauce

2 cups of pineapple juice

2 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of black pepper

2 tablespoons of onion powder

3 tablespoons of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1-2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper

1-2 teaspoons of cumin

1 tablespoon of mixed Italian seasonings (optional)

Heat the vinegar to a near boil. Mix in the remaining ingredients and dissolve all the sugar. Pour the sauce into jars and process in a water bath for 15-20 minutes.

Juanita’s Hot Pickles

3½ pounds of cucumbers

Cloves of garlic

Hot peppers, small and cut in half

3 cups of water

3 cups of vinegar

¼ a cup of canning salt

2 teaspoons of dill seed

This recipe is good for okra as well. If you do just substitute the cucumbers for okra.

Stuff the cucumbers in a jar with a clove of garlic and ½ of a hot pepper. Combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and leave half a head space at the top of the jar. Seal the jars and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

Juanita’s Dilled Pickles

5 pounds of cucumbers,

Washed and cut into chunks

3½ cups of vinegar

3½ cups of water

¼ a cup of canning salt

Garlic cloves

Fresh dill or dill seeds

Bay leaves

You can use more of the seasonings in the pickles if desired.

This recipe is also good for green tomato pickles, prepare the same as you would the cucumbers.

Combine the vinegar water and salt together. Bring the mixture to a boil. Pack the vegetables into clean jars and leave head space for air to escape. Put 1 head of dill or 2 teaspoons of dill seed, 1 bay leaf and 1 clove of garlic into the jars. Pour the hot mixture over the vegetables. Process the jars in a water bath for 15 minutes.