Debbie Dance Uhrig
In Springfield, Missouri we have a radio host known as ‘The Old Record Collector’.
This week I’ve felt like a ‘collector’ of sorts myself, except it was PICKLES! Everywhere I’ve gone people have shared pickles with me. It got me to thinking about a recipe mom used to make when I was a young teen. Most of our pickles were put up as sweet pickles and maybe a ‘few’ dills. But every few years mom would package a few freezer pickles. I would not want to pack the freezer with these beauties, but a few packages are very tasty in the winter months.
Growing up with a stay-at-home mom was a really cool thing when I look back on my childhood. I remember mother used these pickles frequently when she wanted to sew for the entire day. Or when we had a business meeting, carry-in dinner at church. They make you feel like its summer in the middle of the winter!
I would recommend freezing a few cool whip cartons but saving the bulk of the freezer space for more pressing foods. When you research freezer pickles you will also find they don’t suggest freezing for long periods of time.
The last few days in the Ozarks have brought more rain and very, and I mean ‘very’ humid days. In the old days everyone used to say it was good weather for growing corn or tomatoes. I’ve been extremely obsessed with meat canning over the past few weeks. It’s about to the point of mere addiction! Like a farmer or gardener watching their labors turn into a full size plant. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have chicken soup, stew, ground beef, chicken, pork, and spaghetti sauce at your fingertips. That’s just the beginning, the next big project is going to be canned Fish chowder! Sometimes you have to hog-tie these goodies to the pantry shelves. Friends come over and they ooooo and ahh….and then next thing you know another jar is gone!
Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about canning foods like beef and chicken, is the scientific breakdown of the process itself. It becomes very educational and a bit more technical than just ‘cooking’. One guest yesterday asked me how she could get her younger family members interested in canning.
My best answer is as follows: ‘You control what goes in the jar, you can keep things as organic as possible.’ ‘Desire low salt or no salt, it’s at your fingertips.’
Pressure cookers allow us to use more economical cuts of meat and make them taste like prime.
The biggest hurdle is getting away from the fear of using pressure cookers, me oh my, I should know. The ticket is to purchase new models of cookers and canners that are practically fool-proof. Keep in mind most scary canner stories are a result of human error and not the tool itself.
Look around, some gardener probably has an overload of a produce you could prepare for the freezer or canner. Just remember to return the favor! Wouldn’t a few containers of grated zucchini be grand for cakes and bread this winter? Plan ahead, shop wisely, and work on the larder for the cold days to come.
Simply yours, The Covered Dish, www.thecovereddish.com
7 cups sliced unpeeled cucumbers
1 cup sliced onion, I suggest sweet
1 cup chopped green pepper, I have to use sweet peppers here-
2 tablespoons pickling salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons celery salt
Combine cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt. Set aside for two hours.
Rinse and drain. Place in pint containers. In a saucepan over medium heat combine the sugar, vinegar and celery salt. Bring to a boil and then cool.
Pour dressing over pickles and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator for best taste.
Should yield about 4-5 pints.
This recipe comes from the collection of Betty Sue Richardson Dance. Mother states that she does not have any notes on its origin.