Recipe of the Week: Pickles!

Yes. Pickles.

I will never be able to adequately express how excited I am to have found my mother’s recipe for pickled cucumbers. As I am sure I mentioned at some point in this blog, I’m always on the hunt for anything dumpling related. In addition to my dumpling obsession, I’ve also actively been searching for just the right store-bought version of the pickles my mother and grandmother used to make when I was younger. Why I never thought to just make them myself is beyond me.  Perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t think I had a recipe for it or that I didn’t have the ability to do justice to my memory of those pickles. Either way, I have the recipe in my possession and I am going to pickle my happy little heart out.

These pickles are what cultivated my taste for tart, spicy food. What I should be aiming for is a more vinegary pickle with a nice kick from the pepper. The salt should be underwhelming at best.

In addition to the pickled cucumbers, I am also going to take a stab at making pickled turnips. I bought a jar recently from a specialty market and found them to be really salty and mushy – the opposite of the way they are supposed to taste. Pickled turnips, like the cucumbers, should also offer a nice tart, crisp compliment to sandwiches and snacks.

A couple of things I need to figure out:

1. Once they are jarred, how long before the veggies are ready to eat?

2. What hot peppers work best?

3. Where to go in Houston to get the best pickling cucumbers?

Pickled Cucumbers

For medium sized jars:

4 cups water

pickling cucumbers (small to medium in size)

1 cup white vinegar

handful of salt

2-3 red hot peppers

Wash cucumbers and place in clean jars with the peppers. Mix water, salt and vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour over the pickles leaving a little room empty at the top and seal immediately. Note: You will know when there is enough salt when place a raw egg in the water and it rises to the top.

Pickled Turnips

Turnips, washed, peeled and cut into thin half moon wedges

1 beet (don’t need the whole thing, just using the beet for coloring)

7 cups of water

3 cups vinegar

3/4 cup salt

Wash turnips. Peel, slice and sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt. Leave for an hour.

Rinse, drain and place in clean jars with the sliced beets.

Mix water, rest of the salt and vinegar and bring to a boil. Pour mixture into jars over turnips and seal immediately.


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