Pickled Cucumbers, every which way.

Cucumbers are starting to come in and since I have a bit of reputation for pickling everything in sight, I’ve already started fielding requests for my favorite cucumber preserving recipes.  I thought I’d go ahead and put all my favorites into one post, so from here on out, I can just send this link in response to “What are your favorite cucumber pickle recipes?”

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A new pickle bible.

I’ve long said that if you like making pickles, then you only really need one book on pickling – Linda Zeidrich’s “The Joy of Pickling”.  In fact, I refer to it as ‘my pickle bible’.  But  I recently discovered another less known gem and I am revising that statement. If you like making pickles, “The Joy of Pickling” is essential, but if you love making pickles, then you also need “The Complete Book of Pickles & Relishes” by Leonard Louis Levinson.

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Pink Pickled Turnips

In a recent conversation with my friend Aaron, the subject quickly moved to the subject of pickles – specifically these pickled turnips he and his wife Dahlia seemed to only find in Jerusalem and did I think I could recreate them.  He briefly described them to me and after a quick google search, I realized not only would they be fairly easy to make, but I had a recipe on hand for them already. (Joy of Pickling of course.)

 

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Breathing room.

It was a glorious Memorial Day weekend here.  The weather was just simply beautiful and honeysuckle scented.  We had no where to be for three whole days – a first since a snowstorm I’m pretty sure. Pat went fishing with Cola, we had lots of girl time in the yard, gardening was done, back roads were driven in pursuit of local berries, which got jammed and frozen while the strawberries we picked from our yard garden got turned into strawberry ice cream that was shared at an impromptu dinner last night with Charles and Carol, our second dinner party with neighbors over the weekend.   There was a yard sale score in the shape of a pretty new covered cake stand – the sort that you can flip upside down and turn into a punch or trifle bowl in a pinch,  which I guess gets entered into both collections, bringing me to four punchbowls and eight cake stands. To celebrate, I baked a pound cake – this is my go-to recipe, one I tore out of Southern Living eons ago.  Just dump everything in your stand mixer and let it go. I love those sorts of recipes.  Baking the pound cake was also to use up some of the four dozen duck eggs that were dropped off this weekend, some of which might be involved in a pickling project. The pound cake was pretty divine served with the homemade, homegrown strawberry ice cream.   Ambitious to-do lists were made and accomplished this weekend, although the house didn’t really get cleaned like it needs.  Now that I’ve wrapped up my last PB&J Fund classes for the semester, I’ll have free afternoons again so maybe I can get that caught up. I did get laundry (mostly) caught up this weekend.  One shouldn’t be too ambitious about these things I don’t think.  All in all, it was a lazily productive weekend, the sort that had lots of impromptu pop-ins and visits, poison ivy, lazy yard drinks, beautiful evenings and the first lightening bug sightings of the season.  Hello summer.

 

Adventures in Preserves and Pizza.

I recently cracked open a jar of that pickled eggplant.  As part of the ongoing series of canning classes I’ve been teaching, I’d been asked if I could please lead another pickling class because ‘pickling is fun’.  Indeed it is.  I knew I could still get eggplant, so I figured I should actually sample the pickles before making them again.  Served on some nice baguette with feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, pickled eggplant is a lovely antipasti. Continue reading