Canned pickles and Coyotes

A friend of mine who can wrangle any horse, kick rattlesnakes toothless and train a wild coyote to howl cowboy ballads at Arizona’s desert moon, called me one day in a dilemma.

“I need to ask a question!, What the heck is the difference between pickling salts in a box and pickling salts in a sack? This recipe says not to use the one but the other! I am trying to can pickles and I don’t understand any of the terminology they are using. I’m not a gall dern cook! (Actually, there was a bunch of swear words said but gall dern it will have to do for now.)

I said I had never heard of a ‘sack’ of salts before but wondered out loud if they are like the small sacks of spices I use in my chili recipe.

I advised that making pickled eggs is a whole lot easier and I have a super tasty recipe that is easy enough for any beginner to make My friends response was…”I hate eggs!”

“OK, then back to canning pickles it is…”

After trying to understand my friends over the phone recipe I’d finally had enough.

“Hold on, if you are really determined to make your own pickles, even though it’s sooooo easy to just drive to the grocery store and pick up a jar of Claussen Dill pickles and much less frustrating, then I’ll blog my pickle recipe and you can take it from there, OK?

After a minute my friend said, “I see! So this is how you get people to read your blogs. You wait until they’re helpless then force ‘em to drag their dusty eyeballs over your ponderous (insert labored and dull here) writing.”

“You got it my friend, it’s the price you gotta pay… it’s either that or pickled eggs!”

“I hate pickled eggs… go ahead an’ write yer gall dern blog then!”

So in response to my dear friend who has wrangled many a sway back, kicked more rattlesnakes into having to buy dentures and has been known to perform duets with howling coyotes in the Arizona desert during full moons… this blog is for you!


4 lbs cucumbers (3-5 inches, fresh)
2 cloves of garlic for each jar (peeled)
2-3 fresh sprigs of dill for each jar
4 or 5 black peppercorns for each jar
1 small fresh hot red cayenne pepper or banana pepper for each jar (optional)
2 quarts of water
2 quarts of white vinegar
scant 1/2 cup of pickling or canning salt NOT TABLE OR ROCK SALT, these will turn your pickles dark


Set aside enough jars to hold all of your pickles

Cut the blossom end of the pickle off, about 1/8th inch. (like a cigar)

Soak freshly picked cucumbers in a tub of ice water overnight. (Do not use old cucumbers or the pickles will be rubbery). Wipe the pickles dry. Pack sterilized jars* with several sprigs of dill, one clove of garlic at the top and bottom and the cucumbers.

Boil the 2 quarts of water, 2 quarts of vinegar and 1/2 cup pickling salts for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling brine over the cucumbers to the top then place the lid over the jar top, Screw the jar lid ring on to prevent the lid from being knocked loose. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes by placing the jars in a canning pot or large stock pot. Remove then let cool

Let jars sit in a dark cool place for 3 weeks to allow the pickles to absorb the vinegar, spices and salts.

*To sterilize jars. Boil 2 gallons of water. Meanwhile, fill all jars with hot tap water. Wait one minute and then the empty jars. Place dry towel in bottom of sink. Set hot but empty jars in sink. Pour enough boiling enough water into jars filling completely to the top. Wait 5 minutes then using hand protection empty hot jars and place upside down on a CLEAN towel. They are now sterilized.

6 comments on “Canned pickles and Coyotes

  1. Carey says:

    Sweet recipe thank you quite enjoyed your accent lol , have a great day .

    • Why Ma’am,( I hope to heaven you’re a Ma’am or I’m a dead man!) , I have no darn accent. I speak the kings English as if he were my own brother… or something close to it anyway, maybe second cousin who’s spent too much time in the hills. I’m happy you liked the recipe… and the accent. (How in the dickens you can hear an accent from writing on paper has be bamboozled! Have a great day friend, and a better night 🙂

      • Carey says:

        Lol, just the way you type,I love it, I guess being from Canada some might think we have a accent EH? lol , Love it none the less oh and yes I am a Ma’am lol , love going through your recipes like a reading history to me, has soul and substance thank you so much, looking forward to reading more , Sweet night to you as well 🙂

      • You might enjoy this then. It’s in the blog here but most folks pass it buy either because it’s not a regular recipe or they go, “What stupid recipe can be 44 chapters long? Why I ain’t got that type of time to be in the kitchen!” It’s actually a story written by myself of an old woman who lives in the hills of West Virginia. Oh, it’s got recipes for sure but the 1 page stories will get your attention. 🙂 BTW, the last time I had a ‘sweet night’ was back when I slept the entire night through without havin’ to get up an’ pee! Ha ha ha Check out the story at ;

  2. Carey says:

    Thank you so so so much I just love reading real stories like this one and how its going It will be fab, great reads like this one you can see the story playing in full colour right before your eyes with each word spoken or to me read,so much of our history was passed down by story telling and Ma Ma sure could tell a beautiful,I am so greatful I stumbled onto your web page. To me this is such a blessing, and you are a real treasure to talk to , still love the accent lol, well I must read more talk later charished evening to you 🙂

    • Miss Carey, with all your kind words you have me now red faced in humbleness! I love history, I just wish it was stuck better in my head since I’m so forgetful. Every now and then though,one of my brain cells kicks out memory gene and its an ‘ah ha moment. BTW dear, about your name. I was raised as a kid (no, not a goat but one of those little human things that breaks stuff all the time) in Carey Idaho! The family farm is still there alongside the Arco highway being farmed by a relative. 🙂
      I was going to email you but unfortunately i couldn’t find an address anywhere to say hello by. Normally clicking on that little gravitar square thingy brings up an email address but not in this case. Anyway, you can email me if you wish at I’ll catch it as that’s the email I use for most of my writing correspondence. I promise I’ll answer it with an email full of blab, jokes and wanderings that roll around in my head bone! I hope you write ’cause I never had a real live Canadian email me. and a female at that! Ha ha. (I once got a letter from the Canadian GMC motor company telling me I needed to get my truck looked at right away since they made a goof on my brakes and I could die in a fiery accident…but that doesn’t really count as a personal letter from a Canadian). Anyway, you have a wonderful day and if you live near any Eskimo’s give ’em a wave for me 🙂 Campfire

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