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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Recipe - Pickle Testing Time

It's been five months since I went on a pickling frenzy. Time to test the recipes to see how they really turned out.

Mustard Pickles - Not quite what I remembered but still very tasty. For some reason, the mustard sauce was thin and not quite as mustardy as I wanted. The recipe is good but needs some tweaking. Maybe pickled mustard cauliflower next summer?

Curry Pickles - These had a mild curry taste to them. I may make them again if I've got extra cucumbers. Not my favorite but a nice change.

Zucchini Bread and Butter - I made these with zucchini and with those big old cucumbers that you usually don't use for pickling. I think I need to rinse them better after soaking them in brine. They turned out much too salty and not as sweet-n-sour as I remember. Maybe I'm losing my pickle mojo...

Quick Dill Pickles - Quick as in "quick to bottle" not quick to pickle. They need to sit for a couple of weeks minimum, several months is better. These made a nice strong vinegary pickle with a good load of dill taste. It's another good recipe to use with larger cucumbers, not the giant ones but the medium sized ones.

Spicy Dill Pickles - (See the bottom of the Quick Dill post for the recipe) - These are so good. They really have a great kick to them but it takes a couple months to develop. Definitely on my "make it again" list.

JalapeƱo Nacho Rings - These are by far my kids' favorite pickles from last summer. We tried a couple of different recipes but the plain old pickled peppers were the best.

Pickled Cauliflower - I can't believe I didn't post this recipe. I tried two versions. The plain old pickled cauliflower was just kind of meh, but the sweet-and-sour version was absolutely delicious. My kids fight over the jar when I let them open one. Next year, if I get cauliflower for a good price, I'm making this by the quart.

Sweet-n-Sour Pickled Cauliflower

Cauliflower, washed and cut into small pieces (2 or 3 heads will make several pints)
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
4 c. vinegar
2 T. mustard seed
1 c. sugar
2 t. celery seed

Stuff pint jars with carrot slices and cauliflower. Set aside.
Mix vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over vegetables in jars. If you run out of syrup, you can make more as needed. One batch of syrup will make 4-6 pints, depending on how tightly you pack the vegetables.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10-20 minutes, depending on your altitude, to seal. Let sit in a cool, dark place for at least a month.
Open and enjoy.

You can try adding sliced celery or sweet peppers or pearl onions to the mix if you want more of a garden mix.