Don’t Pickle Me
I have taken a lot of flack for making my own condiments. Their argument was how much do you use? My argument is even if it was just a little when you wake up in the morning and you can’t see, and your face and feet are swollen, and you feel lethargic even a bite or two is worth it. Simply I would like to eat pickles, not be pickled.
I started making my own pickles when I started paying attention how much better my body felt as I removed processed food. I heard last week that there are over 40 different salts. I am not sure if all are edible or even if the number is correct. If you just read the label on a jar there is always a suffix with an -ite or an -ate representing the salt family. So I decided to remove those and just start making my own pickles. I just know that I get along much better when I know what is in my condiments.
I remember when I was growing up the canning process took all day; sometimes longer. Jars and jars of green beans, or tomatoes, or peaches, blackberries for cobbler, and of course pickles. I remember Mom’s big blue water-bath, and that giant scary pressure cooker. It’s no wonder people stopped canning. Who has all day for this labor-intensive job when you can go to the market and pick up a jar? But along with the convenience we sacrificed the knowledge of what was in our food. It became a company secret. And you know what happens when there are secrets…
If you want to spend the day in the kitchen for pickles that would be your business, but if you would like real food quickly here is a way to make a quick pickle to top off that burger or pulled pork sandwich, or sloppy Joes, or the turkey sandwich, or… The trick is to make it easy and make them quick. This recipe came from Rachel Ray. I think she is a national treasure. She is one of the first ones that started this whole thing about getting a meal on the table in less than 30 minutes. She used real food and she made us believe we could do it. After learning this quick way to make pickles that only take such a short time I just quit buying them at the market.
I use kosher salt. If you use Morton or its equivalent you will need to adjust the amount. I no longer use it because it taste like chemical to me. I was told the chemical keeps it from clumping. Rachel suggested Kirby cucumbers, but I use Persian cucumbers. They are small, have very little seed, and take pickling well. When I first made these I cut them very thin. I now cut them a little thicker to give them body.
I started with pickles. Now on to ketchup or is it catsup because that almost always has lecithin, and high fructose corn syrup, and that is another issue.
Thank you Rachel for showing me we can have real food that does not take days to make.
- ½ cup white vinegar, eyeball it
- 2 rounded teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove cracked garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 Persian cucumbers cut into 1-inch slices on an angle
- Heat small saucepan over medium high heat.
- Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves.
- Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heatproof bowl.
- Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat.
- Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.
- Place pint jar and canning lid into boiling water to sterilize.
- Cut cucumbers at angle.
- Place into jar.
- Pour over liquid.
- Allow to cool – turn jar over to distribute liquid – place in frig.
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