Gardening in a Small Space

Growing 500 pounds of food in a SMALL space. Who's with us?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pickle My Fancy

Ah!  The cucumbers have finally arrived. One of the side benefits of going on vacation is your plants have grown leaps and bounds while you've been away.  This year we planted some Iznik cucumbers.  These are smaller and have a smooth exterior.  I bought them purposely to can and make bread and butter pickles.  And so I have.

When I was a wee lass (I like to channel my inner Braveheart when pickling), I would only eat dill pickles.  My grandparents even canned cucumbers and made the most delicious pickles EVER!  They were so good we would eat them on white bread with butter.  As I have aged and matured so have my taste buds and I am now a bread and butter pickle eater as well.  A good friend of mine, Nancy E., made the first home canned bread and butter pickles and they inspired me to try it myself.  Sadly the recipe she gave me was one of a true cook... vague on details.  I am NOT a cook and need everything spelled out so I found a recipe online with Recipe Girl.  Her pictures are fantastic and her directions are perfection.

First thing you do is cut your cucumbers in thick slices.  If you go too thin your pickles will be mushy.  I also have a crinkle cutter which makes them pretty.

Then put your cut cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with about a tablespoon and a half of kosher salt. Put the salted cukes in the refrigerator for an hour.

Then rinse the salt from the cucumbers.

While your cucumbers are sitting in the fridge make the pickling liquid.  Here you should just follow Recipe Girl's directions.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Yield: About 4 cups of pickles
Prep Time: 20 min + marinating time
Cook Time: 5 min


5 1/2 cups (1 1/2 pounds) thinly sliced pickling cucumbers
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine sugar and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

After your cucumbers are rinsed off of salt, add sliced onions to them.  You can really add as many onions to them as you like because they taste nice a pickled afterwards.

This is where I differ a little with Recipe Girl... I put the cucumbers and onions in a Mason jar and then pour the liquid to the top.  I do let it sit out for an hour and then I put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

And then comes the masterpiece.

 They will stay good for about 2 weeks.  The Parkers eat them with sandwiches and hamburgers.  Super yum!