Garden to Table, Kitchen, Kitchen Preserves

Bread & Butter Cucumber Pickles..A Fridge Staple

I know Bread & Butter Cucumber pickles aren’t exciting when you’re in the middle of a cucumber glut in summer.

But imagine how exciting they’ll be for that sandwich or salad you’re making in winter. The satisfaction of having grown and preserved a fridge ingredient, yourself.

Today’s recipe is one I’ve been developing for years. I’ve been developing it for taste, ease and simplicity… not complexity. You’ll see it has very few ingredients, but it’s flavourful and reliable. That’s how I like it when I’m in a preserving glut in my kitchen.

This process is not hard after your first time. If you’re not a confident cook, this process can be a little challenging on the first go. So be willing to make mistakes or have someone who you can call or be there to help. Never leave this process unattended and keep all children safely out of the kitchen – it’s hot work!

Important Reminders:

Jar sterilisation, jar sealing and refrigeration of your pickles are all vital steps to avoid serious illness, (especially botulism) with any preserves.

When you’ve cooked these pickles, make sure you reduce only so far that there is still enough boiled pickle liquid to cover the contents in the jar. This is what submerges the pickle in the jar, hopefully locking out air and the vinegar preventing bacteria and/or mould forming.

The jar sealing pop is what you need to hear for the air lock. That’s why you seal and cap in the hot mixture, rather than leaving it to cool.

Only glass jars should be used to store these pickles, because of the vinegar content.

If you’re repurposing glass jars, ensure you have new lids which can reliably do the safety pop seal. If you don’t hear the pop you can’t be sure.

I leave these in the fridge for a week to let flavours develop, before opening the first jar.

Always refrigerate these pickles from the day they are bottled, till consumed, and finished.

If it looks and/or smells wrong when you open a preserve, or you know/ don’t know if it has been stored properly-don’t eat it!

Educate yourself on food safety.

I’m not sure how long these preserves will last in your home and in your fridge – so that, and your safety, are up to you.

This is a delicious pickle. But if it’s not for you, Google a recipe that suits.

If this recipe is for you, and you’d like to share it great…but an attribution to Trish McGill  @vintagetrishgarden on IG, or this website link for other platforms, would be kind, and good manners.

Hope you enjoy these as much as my family and I do. I’ve just heard the first jar lid pop. One down, two to go 💚 Trish

Recipe Ingredients:

Makes approximately 3 medium sized jars

  • 5-6 large cucumbers sliced
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 1TB Salt (for salt rub/ overnight soak)
  • 1 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup raw sugar
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • Large pinch ground turmeric

Method: Follow the method steps outlined below.

**

Stage 1 Salting the Cucumber and Onions Overnight (Allow 8-12 hours)

This is as important as any of the other stages in the recipe. Slice the cucumbers and onions as coarse or fine as you prefer. Rub the 1TB of salt from the recipe ingredients through the cucumbers and onions until all is thoroughly mixed. Store in a covered glass dish overnight in the fridge.

In the morning, drain the liquid that has formed from the salt cucumber and onion mix. You don’t need that liquid any more. Rinse the cucumber/onion mix quickly. Set the mix aside.

Stage 2:

Bring mustard seeds, vinegars, sugar and turmeric to the boil in a pot on the stovetop, stirring till combined well. Reduce heat to medium and add cucumber and onion mix. Stir thoroughly.

Stage 3:

Add the rinsed cucumber/onion mix and simmer on medium heat until the cucumber and onion goes completely soft and the pickle juice goes a little syrupy.

Stage 4:

Simmer till the pickle juice just covers the mixture

Stage 5:

Use tongs and kitchen gloves to transfer the still hot finished mixture, into the sterilised jars

                      

Stage 6:

Cap with sterilised jar lids (still using kitchen gloves) while still hot. Listen for ‘pop’ seal…that could take a while. Let cool, then refrigerate. Enjoy!

© Trish McGill 2020

Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your Bread & Butter Cucumber Pickles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events, Garden Update, Life and my Garden, Mindful Nature

Happy Nature Filled New Year 2019!

A flower blessing to YOU from my garden and I for a beautiful, healthy and happy New Year!

In this photo I used mini dianthus, zinnias, dahlias, nasturtium and roses I picked from my garden on New Years Day, with a purpose that didn’t involve a vase.

I felt these beauties should have multiple uses, in true permaculture style. So when I was picking flowers for my usual flower blessing bowl – a beautiful energetic practice I like to do for setting the home’s energy on New Years Day (see below) – I thought I’d do a year theme inspired photo for Instagram too.

If you’re not following me on Instagram I confess that’s really where the daily posts and action is. So please press this Instagram link and follow me there too–I’d enjoy getting to know you!

I’m more of a ‘just do-er’ than a resolution maker. But I will be better at posting here in 2019 and that’s really what I work with– a loose plan with flexibility that involves taking opportunities that pop up along the way!

On the ‘harvest opportunity front’, my edible garden is producing amazing things right now in the peak of our Australian Summer. I posted a photo of tomatoes on my windowsill today on Instagram. There are really so many ripening on the windowsill it’s making the window difficult to open. I need a new and simple system, ha ha–don’t we all for everything! It’s a great problem to have! But I wouldn’t want the window open today anyway. It’s 38 degrees C outside! So I’ve bought myself some time with the weather’s help.

I’m doing a daily pick/harvest photo, and sometimes a focus photo, on one particular type of vegetable or fruit if I think it would be interesting. Here are some examples of this colourful and productive time of year in my garden.

One of the aspects of having a garden I really enjoy is the ability to be resourceful with the produce that comes in the harvest basket from my morning garden stroll. That harvest is often determined by the weather right now (saving things from heat) or determined by what I need for a particular meal.

The cheese-ball you see above is an example of a theme based snack. I made it for New Year’s Eve (out of near-to-date milk which otherwise may have gone to waste) by making my own cream cheese and then, using it in the cheeseball. It wouldn’t be coated in chives unless I’d had an abundance to pick from in the garden. It wouldn’t exist at all if I didn’t have an aversion to wasted milk.

So the intention behind the types of home cuisine I make can be steered by the garden itself and ‘ingredient opportunities’ that present themselves. Becoming aware of your choices is what this is about, which is ironically linked to New Years Resolutions.

Mindfulness in the garden, offers a beautiful rhythm of flowing with the seasons, with life in general, if you let it work on you.

I hope you experience great ‘flow’ in 2019–at work, at home, at play, in communication with others and in your special relationships.

May 2019 be your best friend!