Marsha

I hate pickles

p7091748csa.jpgHere’s this week’s CSA box. We haven’t sampled the strawberry preserves yet, but they look very yummy.

This week’s haul brought our oh-my-dog-we-can’t-keep-up-with-the-deluge cucumber count to seven. There’s no way we can eat all of those before they start to go bad. It doesn’t help that we have a three-year-old who not only hates cucumbers but refuses to eat any green food except peas and broccoli right now. (I swear, she has green-food radar. If a pea-sized morsel of lettuce, green pepper, or zucchini winds up on her plate—even if it’s buried under other food she likes—she knows it’s there.)

p7101752mandoline.jpgSo I decided to make pickles yesterday. I happen to be militantly opposed to pickles, but Jan and Sylvia like them. And besides, what else are we going to do with all those cukes?

Jan called his mom for her mother’s famous pickle recipe (doesn’t pretty much every family have a “famous X recipe”?), and yesterday I got out the mandoline (I love my mandoline) and had a slice-o-rama.

As the veggies sat in their pickling sauce, every time I leaned over the pot, I kept thinking there were Baltimore-style steamed crabs nearby. Maybe it was the giant enamel pot I used (my family used a similar one for crabs), or maybe the pickling spices and vinegar in this recipe are not unlike those used in Old Bay seasoning.

Five cucumbers (the other two were used in dinner) yielded one gallon of slices—enough to fill five quart jars and one pint jar. We decided not to boil the jars for long-term preservation, since we want to see how these pickles taste before going to that much trouble. If this batch is a success, then I suspect there will be a lot more pickling in our future.

5 Responses to “I hate pickles”

  1. Chrison 11 Jul 2008 at 10:29 am

    Very ambitious! I hate cukes, but I like dill pickles.

  2. Imperatrixon 11 Jul 2008 at 10:35 am

    How about a cold cucumber soup?

    Saute 2 onions in butter for 5 minutes. Add 4 peeled, seeded and sliced cukes, 2 cups vegetable stock 2 tsp fresh (1 tsp dry) tarragon, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt. Cover pot, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer until cukes are very tender.

    Puree the soup, (add 1 bunch minced washed watercress, if you desire), let cool 15 minutes.

    Whisk in 1 cup sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours. Very good if the flavors blend — you can prepare this the day before if you like.

    Mmm mmm mmmmm.

  3. Kellion 11 Jul 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Oh yum! I love homemade pickles! This is a sweet memory of mine from childhood. We had pickles and beets in our pantry year round.

  4. paulaon 12 Jul 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Hmm, I can’t find the cucumbers for the squash, gourd and watermelon vines in the garden, hee hee

  5. Pixieon 15 Jul 2008 at 10:42 pm

    If you have a juicer, cucumbers are a great addition to a juice drink!