Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hide the pickle!

The little pickling cucumbers are finally starting to take off in the garden...  I'm not getting a ton at any one time, but over a week I can definitely have enough pile up in the crisper drawer that I need to do something with them pronto....and yet there aren't SO many that it warrants a big "heat up the kitchen with a giant pot of boiling water" canning project.

What to do...

After looking around online a bunch, I found a number of recipes for refrigerator bread and butter pickles that all sounded good, but I wanted to make sure I found one that could last for months in the fridge, and some said you had to eat them in 2 weeks.  (Why you'd have to polish off a jar of pickles so fast, I don't know!?  I guess because they hadn't gone through the cooking process?)

So here's the cukes and onions sliced up, salted, and about to have a bunch of ice dumped on them.  What I've read over the years suggests the chilling helps keep them crisp once they're pickles, rather than turning all floppy (I've made floppy pickles before - not fun).

Annnnnd, after an hour of that I rinsed them off, picked out the ice, packed them into a couple jars, and dumped in the hot syrup of sugar, white vinegar, pickling spices, turmeric and mustard seed.  Different recipes used different combinations, so I just went with one that closest matched what I had.

We're supposed to get together with Brett's folks this weekend, and his mom loves bread and butter pickles, so I'll give her the jar that's more packed (on the right).  Until then, they just sit in the fridge.

Oh, and after an hour or so, I snuck a taste of one and, sure enough, I could totally tell it was going to taste like a bread and butter pickle.  Texture definitely wasn't quite right yet, but that takes time...

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