Thursday, August 7

Do you smell pickles?

After the boys finally cleaned the bathroom floor, Chris and I put our hands to pickling cucumbers. Every year, we are certain it won't take very long. Every year, we prove ourselves wrong. Last year, Chris even wrote at the top of my recipe "MINIMUM OF FIVE HOURS!!!" But I was certain he was mistaken. Surely we could do better than that!

It's really our neighbors' fault. They are all so stinking nice, so very generous. I have nothing to offer them, but barefoot children asking to borrow an egg, or an un-mowed yard sending dandelion seeds into their well-manicured lawns, and....pickles. I can make a mean jar of pickles. So we start a batch, but it only makes 5 1/2 quarts (we really should package them in smaller jars but we eat so many of them in one sitting!) and we have 4 neighbors. That leaves 1 1/2 jars of pickles for us. That'll get us 2 picnics, tops. So we double it, forgetting we'll have to wait for everything to come to a boil again. This year, we had our handy-dandy-Pampered Chef Mandolin to slice the pickles. It made slicing pickles rather fun, actually. So fun, we had enough sliced pickles...hey, let's do a 3rd batch while we're at it!

At 10:00 last night, we realized we didn't have enough jars to hold all of the pickles. We raided the cupboards and discovered 3 jars of last year's pickles that didn't turn out right (I soaked them 3 days instead of 3 hours. Yes, I procrastinate.) So we disposed of them in the only logical place. The garbage disposal? Nah, too obvious! We dumped them in the toilet. (You see what' coming, don't you? Wish I had.) While patting ourselves on the backs for our cleverness, we flushed the toilet only to watch it gurgle its contents over the edge and onto the freshly cleaned bathroom floor. My darling husband cleaned the mess and we resumed the pickling. He mopped, I saw him do it. But this morning, the floor feels tacky and it has an oddly sweet smell of bread & butter pickles.

If you're not laughing with me at this point, I fear I've wasted your time. Let me make amends by sharing our recipe. Even if you don't like pickles, I promise you'll like this one.

Bread & Butter Pickles
1 gallon sliced cucumbers (not peeled) .....with the Pampered Chef Mandolin, this takes about 5 minutes.
3 Large white or yellow onions (red onions turn ugly pink)
1/2 c pickling salt

*soak these ingredients in large container with enough tap water to just cover them. Let this sit at room temperature for 3 hours.

5 c sugar
2 1/2 c cider vinegar
2 1/2 c water
2 Tb mustard seed
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp celery seed

*In a large stockpot, add these ingredients and bring to a boil

*In a large stockpot or waterbath pot, sterilize your jars (be prepared for it to take an hour to bring this much water to a boil.) Simmer lids and seals in another pan of water until ready to use.

*Drain cucumbers and add to boiling mixture. This will stop the boil.

*Bring back to a boil and then pour into jars. We like to put the jars in the sink before pouring in the pickles so that the mess can go down the garbage disposal rather than all over the counter. Using a sterilized funnel and a ladle seems to work best.

*Fill jars up to 1/2" from bottom ridge. Put on the seals and lids.

*It will seal itself within 20 minutes, but we are paranoid about botulism and such, so we go ahead and waterbath them for 15 minutes after putting on the lids. They make the delightful "pop" sound almost as soon as they are removed from the water.

*Makes about 6 quarts, but, of course, you can use smaller jars instead.


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...