Friday, September 7, 2012

We went the garden and....Lady Ash Pickles!

 We have a garden in our back yard, but the bounty of our harvest comes mainly from the plot that we share with my folks. There is a good 2 acres that we plant yearly. We have brought home many good foods from our labours. 
My oldest two boys helped me gather onions, a cabbage, an overripe red pepper, and the last of our broccoli.
 And of course, our main produce for the week, cucumbers. We have big plans for these cukes! It is Lady Ash Pickles (or otherwise known as Mustard Pickles). The only difference between the two pickles are that the Lady Ash has the peel left on and with the mustard pickles, the peel is cut off. We also brought home some baby cukes to make a small batch of garlic dills. This will be my first attempt at dills. Any tips? Good recipe? A friend suggested I use the recipe here. I think I will try it out. Seems easy enough.
 So here we are, nearly half way through cutting, coring and dicing the cucumbers. I cut up enough for a 2 1/2X the recipe listed below, so 10 quarts of cukes. The trick is to get out all the seeds and dice them nice and fine. I will post the full recipe at the bottom of this post. Once I have all my cukes cut, then I pour the salt over top...I mix mine in just a little. Then you let it sit overnight.
 In the morning, I drain the water off the pickles, and then add the onions, vinegar, turmeric, celery & mustard seed, and the sugar. I heat to a simmer and let it cook for 45 minutes on med heat (without boiling). Make sure to stir. The smell is devine. At 45 minute, I turn up the heat and add in my bowl of sifted flour & ground mustard.
 Once the flour mixture has been blended, I keep the pickles on heat for an additional 15 minutes or so. Then I bottle them. Today I canned 20 baby food jars that I plan to use for gifts at Christmas time. (I pickle the old school way...which means sealer jars are not really needed)
I still have plenty of cucumbers left. Most my eldest will eat I am sure (He ate 4 just this morning). If by Monday morning, there are still lots, I may do another batch of Lady Ash. If there is not, we will visit the garden once again. I have not yet made my baby dills, but that will be another post I am sure..

Here is my family recipe that my mother, grandmother, and sister all use. 

Mustard Pickles:
4 quarts cukes (cut into chunks..do not peel, but remove seeds)
Add one cup salt (coarse sea salt) and let sit overnight.
In the morning Drain off water
add:1 quart diced onions,
1 pint vinegar,
1tbsp tumeric, 
1tsp celery seed,
1tsp mustard seed, 
3 cups white sugar. 
Cook on med heat 45 minutes (do not boil)
turn up heat to near boil, then add sifted: 1tbsp ground mustard & 4 heaping tbsp flour
cook and additional 15 min. 
Bottle & cover with hot jars & lids, being sure to wipe rims of any debris.
It is not necessary (as per this recipe) to use sealer jars or to hot water bath.
*it is recommended that you follow safe practices for canning.