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.