Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pickles and Legacies

I had a productive day today. I got up and decided to get off the pity pot and do something. The basket had a nice amount of cucumbers from the garden and I like to make pickles. Pickles are so easy. Jimmy likes dill and I like Danish so I made both.

The dill pickles were a snap after getting the jars boiling clean, you fill them with the little raw pickle cucumbers and then cover with the brine and boil 15 minutes in the canner. Easy-peasy.
I have had my Better Homes and Gardens recipe book since I was 20 years old. I guess that makes it an antique now.

My canner is really old too I bought it in my twenties. I barely had any money then and I had to save up. At the time this was a big purchase. If i had a brain I'd remember how much it was. That would be fun. I bought it at a hardware store. A friend of mine showed me how easy it was to do water bath canning and I felt like I had won the lottery. I could do this!

The little cukes for dill. Just think he doesn't have to have anything in these that he doesn't like. No onions and no garlic. What can I say? I married a picky eater.

The brine, doesn't it look nasty? It amazes me that these witches brews make such wonderful things.

Now for the Danish style pickles. These are divine. I grew up eating these on open faced pumpernickel sandwiches with liver pate. Don't knock it unless you try it. It's wonderful.

The first step is to cut the cucumbers lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Traditionally they are peeled. This time I am trying them with the skins on. They are after all home grown. sprinkle salt on them and let them sit for an hour wrapped in a towel. Then wash all the salt off.

Cut into 1/2 inch slices.

And cook in the brine for 7 minutes.

Finished dills, one of dill chips.

The recipe for the Danish Pickles is;
12 medium pickles I used 6 large ones.
16 small onions (omitted this)
1 tsp celery seed.
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp whole multi colored peppercorns
2 cups vinegar
1 cup sugar.

I water bathe them for an additional 10 minutes to make sure they are sealed. If you don't have enough brine to fill the jars to 1/2 inch I have added some boiled water before and not noticed any change in the taste. These are delicious. We used to pay a hefty price for a little jar from Sole Vang a little Danish town in Southern California. Now you can make them too.

I also spent some leisure time reading my grandmothers cook book. so many fond memories of her. I think I may have figured out how to make the bread she fed us that I loved so much. It had some rye sourdough in it and graham flour. I guess I will be experimenting with peasant bread doughs soon.

My book "5 minutes a day for Artisan Breads" came and I mixed up the first batch of dough. It's in the refrigerator. This is am amazing concept. I'll show you as I figure it out. We can experiment together. Since I mixed up the dough I took a cup of it to make rye starter. Grandmas book called for 1 cup of any kind of dough with 2 cups of warm water and 1 cup of rye.
I'll add 1 c water and 1 c rye for a week. I'm just full of experiments today.

After all that cooking I was hungry so.....

Nothing like a bit of home made peach jam and a biscuit. These are whole wheat, light as a feather too, melt in your southern mouth.

I have got the biscuit thing down! RAWK on mama!

I still had some energy so the floor got mopped, and the recipe box got sorted. When do you have time to do something like that? It was a trip down memory lane. Did anybody else ever make Impossible Pies? For awhile Bisquick was putting out these really easy one dish meals made with their mix of course, and the recipe would be some type of pie. Impossible Cheeseburger Pie, Impossible Coconut Macaroon Pie, Impossible Pizza Pie, on and on to infinity, I had a pile of those. I have had some recipes for years! I found my original paper with home made play dough on it. I made a lot of play dough when the girls were young. They loved it. Instead of a little can of dough they had a whole pot full. They could pick the color or colors they wanted. It would keep nicely in zip lock bags and when it got old we just threw it out and made another pot.
So fun. I wonder if someday my girls will go through my books and recipe box and find things they also love to remember. I hope so.


farmlady said...

I remember Impossible Pie. I loved it. I had the Coconut recipe. I still have it. We loved it. Think I will make it on the 4th, just for old time sake.
You make pickles look easy. I should try them. We love pickles and this recipe looks like something I could do . Thanks

joanne said...

I remember the Impossible Pies!!! They were a God send to a young bride on a tight budget. wore me out today with all your baking and sorting, I think i'll go take a nap now. Thanks KD...;p

Sadie said...

The peach jam looks SO good! My grandpa has an orchard with fruit trees still, and my grandma always used to make the best homemade strawberry jam. They canned everything under the sun at home, my favorites were pickles, green beans, strawbery jam, and pears! :)

Becky said...

MMMM... impossible cheeseburger pie and the chicken pot pie were/are two of my faves. i like the biscuts too.

Did you do all that stuff with those blasted boots on??? You amaze me.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

It all sounds delicious but , being from the U.K. I haven't got a clue what you're talking about !!!! The pickles look yummy. My neice is a chef and makes a fabulous cucumder pickle. It's a bit different to yours. Thanks so much for popping over to my "lille ole blog " and all of your kind comments. I do try. Don;t forget. I was a child of the '60's, and fashion and music was my passion. I saw The Beatles twice in concert. I haven't got any grandchildren yet. My son got married last October, my daughter loves travelling so, at the moment, I think that they are enjoying themselves too much. All power to them XXXX

Twisted Fencepost said...

I made pickles once. It didn't turn out well. I've been a little aprehensive about trying it again. I'm sure it was the recipe and not my hand that ruined them. tee hee
Seems you were busy as a bee yesterday. This is good. It keeps the mind from wondering too far away.

Mental P Mama said...

This has made me unbearably hungry! You are a busy bee!

WudWerkr said...

Love the pickles , i can eat them about any way they are made , even raw cucumber will do for this old man .

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Hi again Karen, thanks popping in to see me.When I think about it now, it is a bit of a thing, having seen The Beatles.I guess, not many people can say that nowdays. XXXX

Michelle said...

Those pickles look excellent. I love the dill variety.

Flea said...

Oh yum! The pickles! The biscuits! It all looks so good!!!

LDF said...

I loved Impossible coconut macaroon pie! Haven't thought of that in ages. I used to make about 4 to 6dozen quarts of dills each summer ... back when I had a herd of kids at home. Plus another 3 or 4 dozen quarts of 10-day sweet & sour pickles, the kind you drain and cover with fresh boiling water every day for 10 days and that really stink up the kitchen. The worse the stink, the better the pickles! Haven't made any kind of pickles in years, but your Danish pickles sound intriguing. Maybe I should make a few jars ... just for me!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I have tried to find those impossible pie recipes on the Internet without success. The only one I tried was Impossible Buttermilk Pie and it has been a family favorite for years. Did you make any others?

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

PS IF I ever get cucumbers I'll try your recipe. Don't add water! You need the vinegar to make sure you don't get botulism. I had an extension agent scare the living daylights out of me over the proper balance of vinegar to water in pickles.

noble pig said...

Beautiful pickles, I have been wanting to make bread and butter pickles myself. I have the Artisan bread book too and love it. I make bread every single day from really works.

Karey Swan said...

I haven't made pickles in years, but I might do your danish ones this year. I'm the only one that eats a sweet pickle occasionally. Monte's aunt always 'canned' her pickles in the oven, but I can't find the recipe. I always figured with all the salt and vinegar it would be ok - like 250 degrees for 1/2 hr. That ways a few jars could be done easily.

And you know, you could make your own whole wheat bisquick using butter or the new palm oil (organic shortening). I have an Impossible pumpkin pie in my cookbook - just adding some flour - no crust.

I've not taken the time to read your book yet. Now that you're a patient tho, you're going to have to add to it. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers!

Karey Swan said...

You wrote me Karen ...
Wikipedia shows 1 cup mix as:
1 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb oil or butter

So there's a starting place. I do have my recipe somewhere, but haven't looked. I packed up most of my cookbooks to see what I can live without and just google recipes or developing recipe boxes on line.

Unknown said...

You are your biscuits : ) always make me smile. And feel hungry! Naji would love you to bits! Pickles are his favorite things on the planet. I am going to send him down to visit you for a while : )

Anonymous said...

You make everything look so easy... and beautiful!