Sunday, October 03, 2010

In a Pickle

It seems that I left you high and dry for the month of September. Even though I attempted to revive my posting momentum with a supposedly weekly feature (Fridge Fridays), I still found myself in the pickle of life taking precedence over blogging. Maybe it is time that I quit apologizing for my absences and just take them in stride. I blog when I can and not necessarily when I want. Isn't that true of so much of life? Why would this online journal of what is On My Plate be any different?

The month of September was filled with out-of-state visitors, delivery of my new fridge, my first cycling event in 2 or 3 years, a milestone birthday, a wonderful birthday gift, canning and preserving, and daily sighing and repentance because I was neglecting the blog. September has been a pretty good month, but I am going to give up the sighing and repentance. This blog is what it is. I don't need to feel that I am in a pickle if I don't have time to post something. That's life.

It is the same life that brought me a bounty of pickling cucumbers from a friendly neighbor lady. Last year, I had made a ton of refrigerator pickles that we liked, but found impossible to use in the proper time frame. This year, I decided to hot water bath with another recipe and make shelf-stable pickles with most of the cukes. I haven't yet tried them, but they look very pretty. I will have to report back if they are fabulous, as my last attempt at canning pickles didn't produce the flavor or crispness that I wanted. *Fingers crossed for this one.*

Of course, one pickle recipe wasn't enough.  I had to try another small batch of refrigerator pickles. I only stuffed 2 pint jars full of sliced cucumbers, onions, and a few red peppers from my garden to play with Alton Brown's Refrigerator Pickle recipe. They are slightly a bread and butter pickle would be...but dill, garlic, and hot peppers kick them up a lot. We have been enjoying them on burgers, sandwiches, and straight from the jar. Nobody is in a pickle with My Version of Alton Brown's Refrigerator Pickles On My Plate.

1 onion, thinly sliced
4-5 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
2-4 small hot peppers
2-4 sprigs of dill
2 cups water
2 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice

Drop a clove or 2 of garlic into each of 2 pint canning jars. (I use wide-mouth for ease of packing.)
Layer onion and cucumber slices in jars, adding a couple small hot peppers and sprigs of dill between the layers.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. 
Simmer for 4 full minutes to meld the flavor.
Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, completely filling the jar. 
Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.
Use within 2-3 months. (Yield: 2 pints)

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