Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yummy Fast Pickles

When I used to work at a living history museum one of my favorite things to prepare during hot weather was a fast pickle.  I would slice up cucumbers fresh from the garden and put them in a bowl of vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. I kept a bowl of these going all during cucumber season. All of my co-workers would come by and munch on those cucumbers because they were very refreshing when working outdoors in 90 degree, humid weather. I know that I made them really too sour for some of them, but they ate them anyway. Many a time we would get strangled on that strong vinegar! 

While I was playing on Pinterest yesterday, I ran across a recipe for Cathy's Fresh Cucumber Salad that sounded SO tasty that I had to run out this morning and buy the ingredients!  The original recipe sounds fabulous, but anyone that knows me KNOWS how I love sour or hot food.  Naturally, I had to start changing things up!

The first problem that I encountered was that the pickling cucumbers looked terrible.  They were shriveled up and just nasty looking. So, I got regular cucumbers and decided that I should peel the tough skins.

I prefer red onions and I thought that they would look pretty in the jar, so I used them instead of white onions.  I really wanted to get red bell peppers, but when I saw that the price of them was DOUBLE the price of green peppers, I decided that money in my pocket feels better than red peppers look!

The one thing that I did not count on was the fact that pickling season is in full swing.  I bought the last gallon of white vinegar and there was NO celery seed to be found in store. I decided that the mustard seed would be enough seasoning.

The recipe only called for 1 cup of vinegar which I boiled up with the sugar. It was not enough to cover the cucumbers, so I boiled more. Oh yeah, I also cut the amount of sugar in half because I like it SOUR!  I thought about adding a jalapeno to the jar just for that extra added zip, but decided I would save that for the next jar.

About an hour after I made them, I gave one a taste.  YUM! I put the jar in the fridge and came into work.  I can't wait to get home and try them after they have set awhile.

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