Friday, May 11, 2007

Pondering Pickles

I love pickles of all sorts, but have a soft spot for ice cold, crunchy, kosher dill pickles. As a kid, I would eat Klaussen Dill Spears by the jarful.

When we lived in Augusta, Georgia I found that southerners like their pickles, too. Only they enjoyed a wider variety of pickles than I had known. Augustans, along with many southerners, made special days of canning pickles just like their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers did. Pickled watermelon rind, pickled cucumbers, pickled yellow squash—these are all staples in the southern cupboard. But so, too are relishes: Corn relish, pear relish, green tomato chow chow and my favorite, artichoke relish. These are truly, lovely condiments that can not be replaced with soggy store bought alternatives—they must be homemade by either, you, your Mamma or a generous neighbor.

As much as I covet all things pickled, I am intimidated to can pickles myself. Remember in the ‘70s there was a botulism scare in canned mushrooms? I guess I never forgot that.

Anyway, having not had a Mamma who was taught by her Mamma how to ‘put up’ pickles, I never learned how, and canning is not something taught in culinary school. So I researched and developed this recipe for making quick refrigerator pickles. I make them from all sorts of vegetables—my favorites are asparagus, carrots and cauliflower, but any fresh, crunchy vegetable, if properly brined, will make a fantastic pickle.

Give this recipe a try. One nice aspect of it is that you can make as many or as few jars as you like.

It’s as easy to make one jar as it is to make ten~ to share with your Mamma and your neighbor.


Linda Foxworth said...

Wow, artichoke relish sounds delicious! I have a friend who makes zucchini relish every summer (if I bring her the zucchinis.) It's,oh,so good on tuna salad. I've never been brave enough to try pickling, either. I'm going to give your recipe a try and let you know what happens!

Anonymous said...

Where I come from in Southern Ontario, there's a hotel called the Erie Beach Hotel with a restaurant called the Cove Room in Port Dover. Late summer every year,Mrs Schneider one of the owners of the hotel makes enough pickled pumpkin to keep the salad bar going all year long. It's very unusual and delicious so one year I gave it a try. It tasted great but was very tough to make because of having to peel the pumpkin. Apparently Mrs Schneider has the help of a male hotel employee for an entire day to peel pumpkin with her. For me it was back to making my Mum's dill pickles which are a whole lot easier to make.
I'm enjoying your blog.
Dawn Morrow