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It’s summertime and the garden is blooming and producing a ton of flowers and veggies. Sometimes we get lucky and a plant takes off and produces more than we expected or could eat before they go bad. We planted a few different cucumber plants and the garden and the lemon cucumber plant exploded with a ton of cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers are round and looks like a lemon (doesn’t really taste like a lemon) and are perfect for pickling. It just so happens that we also had a few regular cucumbers, banana peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne peppers that were also ripe and ready to be used from the garden. Time to make spicy pickles!

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Ingredients:

24 oz beer (I used Amarillo Pale from Hangar 24)

1/2 cup water

4 cups white vinegar

2 cups white granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of salt

mustard seeds

peppercorns

garlic gloves

peppers

dill

cucumbers (I used about 10 lemon cucumbers and 3 regular cucumbers)

mason jars

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Directions:

1. Prepare your mason jars by washing them in hot water and setting aside to dry. You can also boil them to ensure cleanliness.

2. Put beer, water, vinegar, sugar and salt into a large pot to bring to a boil on medium high heat.

3. Line-up your prepared mason jars and start adding the spice ingredients. I think eyeballing the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and dill  is fine but if I had to guess I added about a teaspoon of each ingredient. I then chopped up 10 banana peppers, 5 cayenne peppers, 5 jalapenos and just distributed them evenly into the jars. I didn’t take the ribbing and seeds out of the peppers because I wanted max spiciness but you can opt to take them out. I added about 2 garlic cloves in each jar. The amount of peppers you use is really up to you and how spicy you want the cucumbers to be. If I had to guess I ended-up with 1/2 jalapeno, 1 cayenne, and 2 banana peppers in each jar.

4. Cut-up your cucumbers either in rounds or in wedges. Stuff as much as you can into each jar. Add the hot pickling liquid into each jar until it’s almost filled to the top. Add the lid and make sure it’s extremely tightly sealed. It’s optional, but I boiled each sealed jar for 5 minutes in boiling water to ensure the seal was air-tight and I left on a wire rack to cool overnight.

5. Once cool, place in the fridge and the pickles should be ready in about 3 days.

The big jars were more mild than the smaller jars. The smaller jars were more intensely hot. We tried both the regular cucumbers and the lemon ones and I have to say I liked the lemon cucumbers more! The flavor was vivid and complex. In the future when I make these again I think that I might add a little less sugar. I prefer a little less sweet flavor on the pickles. They weren’t overly sweet by any means, but I would prefer a little less sweet. We took these to our friends 4th of July BBQ and they were a big hit!

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