Thursday, August 25, 2011

bread and butter pickles.

I apologize for my complete lack of posts lately. We've been busy busy busy since we returned to Hamilton, and I got out of the swing of blogging. But no longer! I'm back.

I think August is my favourite summer month. Blueberries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers...there's just so much delicious local produce out there! And the weather is starting to cool down a little too, which makes me want to spend some more time in the kitchen.

Last week I took advantage of all the pickling cucumbers available at the farmers' markets and made bread and butter pickles. YUM! Not everyone I know likes sweet pickles, but I love 'em. I love all pickles though, so maybe that's just me. I grew up on these kind of pickles and they're probably one of my faves.

Anyways, I grabbed a basket of pickling cucumbers from the Hamilton Farmer's Market and used this recipe from Canadian Living.

First off, sterilize six 500mL jars.

Thinly slice 4 lbs of cucumbers, 2 onions, and 1 red pepper. Toss them together with a bunch of ice cubes and a 1/4 cup of pickling salt, then put some more ice on top of them. Let them sit like that for 3 hours, then drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.

In a pot, measure out sugar, cider vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and ground cloves. I actually ran out of brine just over halfway through canning and had to make more (pain in the bum!), so I would actually double the brine recipe to be safe.

Bring it to a boil, then add the vegetables, and bring to a boil again.

Pack the pickles and the brine into the 500mL jars, leaving a 1/2'' headspace. Wipe the rims if necessary, put the lids on, et voila! Bread and butter pickles! Wait 2-3 weeks before trying them. I haven't sampled mine yet, but I can't wait. Yum.

Bread and Butter Pickles, by Canadian Living

4lbs of small cucumbers
2 onions
1 red pepper
1/4 cup pickling salt
a bunch of ice cubes (around 32)

the brine (I suggest doubling it to be safe...):
3 cups of granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups of cider vinegar
3 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp celery seed
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cloves


Amanda said...

I grew up on dill pickles, and never tried a sweet pickle until recently. I may have switched pickle camps.

Those look soooo yummy! Why do you have to ice the stuff?

Kate Hunter said...

You ice the cucumbers so they stay crisp when you pickle them! It's to keep them from cooking when you put them in the hot brine.

Jesse said...

My dad and I (I was, like, eight) got to go through the Canadian Canners factory when it closed. We cure all our garlic and onions on some old stainless steel screens and we use a lot of old valve knobs as handles for stuff, like our greenhouse.

Anonymous said...

is that Cottage on maguagadavic lake. I have a camp ther on the first island by the main shore.

This is my fav place in the world...

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