Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh, Pickles!

I had picked up a small pot of homemade pickle cucumber starts from the Farmers' Market, back in early July. Well, those 3 little starts have gone crazy in my backyard. So far I have 10 of these little pickling cucumbers, with more on the way.

I had seen a recipe for refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles on the Down-To-Earth blog. I have tweaked it a bit, to my tastes (I don't want mine as sweet). This was the perfect opportunity to try out my Pampered Chef Mandoline, another Craigslist bargain. I paid $10. The previous owner couldn't figure out how to use it. It is a little fussy but what I like about it is you'd really have to try hard in order to cut yourself on it. Its very safe, which is good for a klutz like me. And it slices really thin.

And its quick. I had a bowl full of uniform slices in no time.

I also sliced up a small, sweet onion to add.

I placed the onions and cucumbers in a big bowl and sprinkled them liberally with 2 TBS. of salt, mixed it all in well, and left it for 4 hours. Then I rinsed the salt off well and drained it in a colander while making the pickling liquid, as follows.

8-10 pickling cucumbers, sliced very thin
1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
Place the above in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 TBS. salt, mix well, and let sit for 4 hours. Rinse well to remove the salt and drain in a colander while making the pickling liquid. You'll also want to sterilize your jars in boiling water and heat your lids in hot water, as well, although not boiling water for those. You can use any jars for this, as long as they have lids. They need not be canning jars. I saved old pickle and jam jars.

Place the following in a saucepan.
1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. mustard seed
1 1/2 Tbs. celery seed
1 cup sugar
3/8 tsp. turmeric
a heaping 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Bring to a boil, lower heat, and stir and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Fill prepared jars with cucumber mixture. Pour in the pickling liquid. Add one dried red pepper per jar (optional). Seal with the lids. Allow to cool down before placing in the refrigerator. Wait at least 3 weeks before eating. They should last 4 months in the refrigerator.

I had so much fun with the mandoline, I decided to use it on some zucchinis and make Zucchini Pie.

And I leave you with a view of the sunset, from my backyard. Take beauty where you can find it.

1 comment:

luvewe said...

Mine will never make it to 4 months. I couldn't even wait a full week before eating some. And they're delish. I love these on tuna fish sandwiches.