Sweet Heat Pickles _lowres

Photo by COLETTE DEAN -- Neatly labeled jars of canned vegetables, from pickled okra to salsa and bread-and-butter pickles line Tony Yokley's pantry.

Sweet Heat Pickles

Makes 8-10 pints. Recipe is by Tony Yokley.

3 pounds of pickling cucumbers, sliced into ¼-inch slices

2 cups sliced white onions

½ cup pickling salt

6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

1½ cups of apple vinegar

3½ cups sugar

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric

12 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cloves

3 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon crushed cayenne flakes

1 teaspoon celery seeds

Pickling lime, optional

For crisper pickles, add ½ teaspoon of pickling lime per jar when filling jars.

Adjust the heat for these pickles by reducing or increasing cayenne pepper.

1. Place the cucumbers, onions, pickling salt and water in a pan or bowl and mix well. Place a towel over container and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Drain mixture in a colander and rinse well. Set aside.

3. Combine vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic, cloves, peppers and celery seed in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and add the cucumber mixture.

4. Bring to a simmer then remove the pot from heat.

5. Fill sterilized jars, adding pickles first, then adding the liquid to cover the pickles, leaving ½-inch space at the top.

6. Wipe rims of jars clean with a paper towel.

7. Add sterilized lids and rings. Do not overtighten rings.

8. Immerse in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool.