Friday, August 3, 2012

I Like Bread and Butter

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Here's the thing about cucumbers:
you plant them,
you watch them grow,
and then overnight you have 10 million.

Luckily, we love cucumbers (even especially Ben).
We eat about 5 varieties of cucumber salads,
put them in regular green salads,
eat them plain with hummus,
etc etc etc.

And if and when we still have a ton extra, I make pickles.
Lots of different kinds, and one of our faves is this recipe for bread and butter pickles.
Great for snacking, putting out for company, and throwing on a "sammich".

Bread and Butter Pickles:
For a batch of about 4 pint-sized Mason jars:

about 9 cups cucumbers, sliced
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 large onion (like a Vidalia if you can get one)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a healthy pinch or a couple shakes of tumeric
Clean, trim, and slice thinnly your cucumbers and add to a large bowl.

Sprinkle the salt over them and give them a toss. cover them lightly with a cloth and put them in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

They'll lose a lot of their excess water.
Rinse them off in a colander, place them back in your bowl, and add your onion. Toss so everything is evenly disributed.

In a medium pan, add the rest of your ingredients and bring to a bowl.
Meanwhile, put your cucumber-onion mixture into your sterilized mason jars using a funnel so you're sure not to touch the rim.

In a small saucepan bring a couple inches of water to a simmer (not boil) and place your lids in the water to activate the seal.

Pour your brine over the cucumbers (again using a funnel), leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace.
wipe down your rims if there is any spillage.

Note: Be careful with the brine! Tumeric can stain, so you may want to wear an apron.
Place lids on the jars being careful not to touch the under side, and place ring over the top.
Screw on lightly.
Process in a waterbath for 30 minutes.
Done! The longer they sit, the better they taste, but I'd say (as with the pickled peppers) wait at least a week for some good flavor to develop.


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