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The Great Pickle Challenge

Have you ever made pickles?  I haven’t which is sort of surprising since they are one of my favorite foods.  Actually, I think of pickled foods as their own food group.  When I was growing up we ate pickles and pickled tomatoes.  As I got older I learned about pickled garlic, asparagus, mushrooms, etc…  You name it and it can be pickled.

Then something terrible happened to me and my dear pickles.  I was told I was pickle intolerant.  Have you ever heard of anything so crazy?  My nose would literally swell up if I ate pickles.  The good news is that the pickle intolerance is now behind me and I seem to be able to eat pickled foods in moderation.  Hallelujah!  Last week my husband brought home a beautiful jar of horseradish pickles from the farmers market near his office.  And pickled beets and carrots are now back on our menu at home.  But, I still have never pickled anything.

I longingly look at my Nourishing Traditions book by Sally Fallon and think about making pickles and saurkraut.  I have even discussed hosting fermenting classes in my home with a few of my gluten free friends in the hopes that it would kick start my fermenting and pickling process.  The dusty box of canning jars that were in my Mom’s garage are now in my garage staring at me every time I pull the car inside.  And I have even told myself if my friend Sueson would just let me have the Harsch Crock (a great device for making fermented foods) back that I would make a giant batch of saurkraut.  I always laugh thinking about my husband walking into our basement wondering what is bubbling away in the crock.

But still…I have yet to make pickles or saurkraut or anything fermented.  Until today!  Letty Kamperschroer Jocius (one of my Facebook Friends) sent me her grandmother’s 100 year old pickle recipe.  I am going to try it out and I encourage you to try it too.  Let me know how it goes.  Send me a picture of your pickles and we can have a pickle party.  Or if you have other pickle recipes you love, send them along too.  Let The Great Pickle Challenge begin!

P.S.  Yesterday I went to drop off the money for my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.  The house had the most lovely vegetable garden along the driveway with huge cucumbers hanging off the vines.  My garden’s cucumbers seem to either rot or my kids eat them so fast we never get to have them in the house.  I must have looked really pathetic looking at these cucumbers because before I knew it I was offered two to take home.  Now I have the start to my pickles!  Thanks Jen R. for the cukes!

Grandma Boerger’s (pronounced Berger’s)Pleasantly Perfect Pickles

7 c. sliced cukes, unpeeled
1 med onion
1 large green pepper (optional)
1 c. cider vinegar
2 c. white sugar
2 t. kosher salt
2 t. celery seed
Clean canning, jelly, salsa etc. jars

In a large 4-c measuring vessel, mix the sugar, salt and vinegar. Let sit while you slice vegetables. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice vegetables into large bowl. If the vinegar mixture is not clear, put in microwave (or on stove) for a minute to dissolve. Add celery seed. Pour over vegetables and stir thoroughly. Put pickles in sterilized jars and place in fridge for 24 hours. Ready to eat and will keep 4 weeks.

salty fig partner 23

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