Monday, July 27, 2009

In a pickle...

It is traditional, for me, to suffer from adequacy syndrome. That is, biting off more than I can chew. So, I find myself in a pickle - with large quantities of food to preserve and a schedule to leave town tomorrow around 1-2pm for camping by a river in the Trinity Forest. And yet - I am still in the kitchen!

With cucumbers and zucchini from James and my gardens, I put together some bread & butter pickles (yes, I know the cukes are too big around but...) and have a bowl of onions and squash layered with salt and ice to turn into zucchini bread & butter pickles in about an hour.

In that hour, I will make jelly from 16 cups of plum juice, cut up a small honey dew and small watermelon for breakfast and lunch tomorrow, juice 20 lemons, pack all my clothes and put together all the details for campgrounds on my itinerary in a PDF to print at Scott's house.

But seriously - the bread & butter pickles look great. Once the zucchini bread & butter pickles are in the jars, I'll have three types of pickles ready to eat in about 2 weeks.


Cucumber bread & butter pickles
  • 8 - 16 oz jars
  • 1 - 8 oz jar
Zucchini bread & butter pickles
  • 4 - 16 oz jars
  • 8 - 8 oz jars

4lbs cucumbers or zukes
2lbs onions

Slice and layer with salt, cover with ice and let sit at least 90 minutes - then drain, rinse, drain, rinse...

In a pan, 4 cups vinegar, 2-3 cups sugar and spices - mustard seed, cinnamon, fresh ginger or dried, black or white pepper - whatever you think works.

Bring to boiling - then add drained vegetables - bring to boiling again and then put into sterilized jars, wipe the edges of the jars and put on the 2 part lids, process for at least 10 minutes in hot water bath.

I put a serrano chile with the stem end snipped off with scissors in the bottom of each jar but you don't have to - you could put in a dried cayenne pepper!

Let the pickles sit for 2 weeks - then refrigerate to chill and eat. Try not to get caught eating them out of the jar with the refrigerator door open at 3am in your birthday suit. So embarrassing.


Chile said...

If you can get all that done in one hour, I want lessons! ;-)

Enjoy your camping trip.

Green Bean said...

I'll have to try your recipe. I've just about given up making pickles as mine never turn out very good. Too mushy and too bitter.

Jenn said...

well... we ended up putting off a day, and then I went up on my leg of the trip to camp by the river - pix & itinerary are up on Flickr.