This has been a very good summer for me and pickling… a $10/week subscription to a local family farm has provided me with more than enough really wonderful produce to get me to look into making things I hadn’t really considered in years (or, ever, in some cases).
One week had me pickling green beans with jalapeño and dill and garlic – and then wishing I had more green beans to pickle. Other weeks had me trying zucchini fritters, or even taco shells.
Earlier this week, I’ve done posts on one solution for a surfeit of eggplant; caponata – another (tasty!) solution will be featured in Friday’s parfait! post) – and then, a genius green peppers relish made sweet and spicy and just a wee, tiny bit beer-y. Now, I’ve come to yet another pickle in the road, this one without any added beer, and really pretty simple to toss together, but oh! so good, that I have sadly used up this entire batch of roughly five pints in a little over a month since I first received my cucumber challenge and then started pickling – Bread and Butter Cucumber Pickles. I need to see if my local farm still has pickling cukes available, ’cause I am gonna need me some more of these!
•10 cups sliced pickling cucumber
•4 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
•1/2 cup pickling salt (not regular salt)
•2 cups white vinegar
•1 cup cider vinegar
•1-1/2 cup sugar
•1/2 cup brown sugar
•2 tbsp mustard seed
•1 tsp celery seed
•1 tsp turmeric
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Toss the sliced cucumber and onion with the pickling salt to coat, then add cold water to cover…
Note: my method here is a perfect example of Julia Child’s admonishment to “Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.” Obviously, the bowl I rely on to be big enough to toss salads and pasta in was not gonna be working for this bit of salting and soaking. Good thing I had this huge casserole dish given to me by my very favorite mom-in-law…
Once you’ve tossed your salted cucumber and onion in a large enough container (sorry, my vintage (and hoooge) Corning Ware casserole does not have capacity printed on the bottom – it is mebbe four quarts?), add cold water to cover and set aside to rest on the counter for two hours or so.
Transfer the pickle and onion mixture to a colander to drain, then rinse thoroughly.
Stir the vinegars, sugars, and seasonings together in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugars, then boil for ten minutes.
Add the drained and well rinsed veggies and bring the mixture back to a boil.
Boil for three minutes
Pack the veggies and their pickling liquid into prepared canning jars, adding pickling liquid to cover. Use a wooden skewer to remove any air bubbles, then place a lid on each jar, finger-tip tighten a band on each and process in boiling water for ten minutes.
This particular day’s pickling gave me three decent jars of tomato relish, which is wicked vinegar-y, but works really added in small parts to other sauces – such as my own take on Worcestershire sauce, and five lovely jars of bread and butter pickles.
Of which I now have about a half a jar left.
Seriously; I have always thought home made pickles a good thing, but this year, my results have been spectacular. I am either getting better at the craft of pickling, or my trusty suppliers at Meyer Family Farms in Salem, WI are simply providing me with superior produce.
Fergettabout the supermarket stuff…
these are the pickles you’re looking for.