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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Recipe - Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles with Pictures!

My kids love these pickles. I ran out of pints one summer and used quart jars. They still ate the entire jar at one meal. These go great with sandwiches, hot dogs, potato salad, ham, just about anything that goes with sweet pickles. It's also a great way to use those monster zucchini you always find in the garden.

Easy and fast, these take only an afternoon, and most of that is letting the vegetables sit in ice.

Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles (makes about 6 pints)

4 quarts sliced zucchini - don't bother peeling it, just cut it into three or four sections, then slice it lengthwise and remove the seeds, and slice into thin pickle slices.

1 large onion, or 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 - 3 bell peppers, red is pretty but not necessary, sliced into small strips

1/2 c. pickling salt, use noniodized salt, not regular table salt. The iodine in regular salt makes the pickles turn dark brown.
1 c. water

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. white vinegar
2 T. mustard seed
1 t. celery seed
1 t. ground turmeric

Mix zucchini slices, onion slices, and pepper strips in a large bowl. Mix salt and water, pour over vegetables, scraping out any extra salt. Cover the veggies with a layer of ice cubes. Place a heavy pot lid over the veggies, this is to hold them under the ice/salt water, and let the whole thing just sit for at least 3 hours.

Drain the veggies, squeezing out any extra water.
Mix sugar, vinegar, and spices in a big cooking pot. Bring to a boil, then add veggies. Bring the whole mess to a boil. Pack into jars and process. I usually do pints and 1/2 pints and process for 20 minutes, but I'm also at a high altitude. Larger jars require more processing time. Contact me if you have questions.

Picture version-
 Slicing zucchini...
 Slicing peppers...
 Slicing onions...
 Mixing the salt and water to pour over the veggies...
 Covering the veggies with ice...
 Using the other monster zucchini to weight it down...
The finished pickles, with a jar of pepper relish on the right. Aren't they pretty?

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