31 August 2009

Pickles, anyone

Life is too short not to have pickles. I'm not a fan of dill pickles, though the one here is very good in my opinion.** But I've always enjoyed bread and butter pickles. We ate them growing up with homemade chicken and rice. We also ate them traditionally on bbq - on or with - either way is fine. They are also good out of the jar, standing in front of the open fridge, while you're trying to figure out what to make for dinner or fetching another beer. 

Summer squash pickles were the first pickles I ever made, they were in fact, the first canning of any type I did on my own as an adult. My MotH and I had our first home and I supposed that's what started it. Two things happen at this house - our home together. I was finely able to have a proper garden on a scale that I wanted - .5 acre in the city that was all mine to do with what ever I wanted. Secondly I had a huge kitchen. Big enough that our son could ride his scooter round the 9' long island. A. Big. Kitchen.

** Recipe forthcoming...

Squash Pickles 
4 lbs mixed summer squash (yellow squash or zucchini or both)
1 lb onion (or more if you like)
6 Tbs kosher salt

3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp nutmeg, fresh grated if possible
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups sugar.

Slice the squash to about the same thickness 1/2" or so (removing ends of course). Slice the onions as well. Place in either colander over bowl or just a bowl (glass is best - nonreactive). Add the salt and stir to distribute. Go and do something else for four to six hours (or overnight really).

Drain squash and rinse once (or twice if so inclined).

Add all ingredients of pickling mixture to large pot and bring to boil (Btb). Reduce heat and to gentle boil for five minutes. Add squash mixture and simmer for three to five minutes. 

Do the right thing by your jars (clean and sterilize). Put pickles w/liquid in jars, remove bubbles and top off to about 1/4 an inch of top. Clean rim and seal.  

Keeps in fridge for a year, but will not last that long. Excellent flavor, but make sure you use the turmeric - it gives the jar a look of golden honey  - just beautiful which all pickles should be if possible. 

Credit: I got this recipe from recipezaar.com and have modified it - will attempt to learn more about blog etiquette to make sure I give credit where it is due. 

No photos of this because they have already been eaten and I need to make more.