In a Pickle?

Love pickles? 
We all do, but you just can’t buy enough to keep your fridge stocked. How many hours shampooing other peoples’ pets and/or delivering 10x10cm polyester carpet samples could ever pay for the number of pickles you need to live a fulfilling life? I don’t want to even think about it.

Sadly, you missed our workshop.  Fortunately for you, you can now learn to make pickles… in the comfort of your own home, using hours you might otherwise use raking leaves, doing laundry or other frustrating and unrewarding activities not resulting in delicious preserved edible product.

A big thanks to Betty and Norma who taught us to make mustard pickles, and graciously (though suspiciously) allowed me to use fair trade, organic sugar and locally-milled, unbleached, whole white flour.  The pickles might not be bright yellow, but they sure are tasty!

Pickle Mixture on the stove

(And thanks to Adam who enjoys writing silly copy and allowed me to steal and modify his text.  Stay tuned for Adam’s Gefilte Fish recipe – made with sustainably-caught hake – and his adventures with corned beef – made with local beef.)

Mustard Pickles

Ingredients
10-12 field cucumbers (about 16 cups)
2/3 cup pickling salt
2/3 cup water
6 onions, cut in wedges
1 green pepper, cut in strips
1 red pepper, cut in strips
5 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
8 cups white sugar
2 tbsp celery seed

Paste:
1 ½ cups white flour
¼ cup dry mustard
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water

Directions
1) Wash cucumbers, cut lengthwise in quarter, remove seeds and cut in approximately ½ inch chunks.
2) Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of coarse salt and 2/3 cups water.  Let stand overnight.
3) Drain, rinse twice with cold water and drain well.
4) In a roaster or large pot combine vinegar, 2 cups water,  8 cups sugar, and celery seed.  Bring to a boil.  Add onions and peppers.  Boil for 5 minutes.
5) In a large bowl, combine flour, mustard, turmeric, black pepper, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.  Stir together for a smooth paste.
6) Pour paste in vinegar mixture while stirring.  Let cook for 5 minutes to thicken sauce.  Add cucumbers and cook on low heat for 15 minutes (less if you prefer crunchier pickles), stirring occasionally.
7) Bottle in sterilized jars and process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath*.
And voila!

Pickles!

* If you are new to canning and would like more detailed instructions on sterilizing jars and boiling water bath canning, check out the Bernardin website or the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Yours in food,

Marla

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