Freezer Pickles, updated, August 10, 2020
The Covered Dish
By Debbie Dance Uhrig
There are no hummingbirds to enjoy today as I post the column. We are in the process of having a new roof installed. Everything within a mile has departed due to the noise, and our corgi, Rumor, is attached to us at the hip. The hummingbirds had been supping at our Rose of Sharon bush daily. The sweet nectar is located in front of the office window. I get such entertainment when it’s hummingbird season.
Last week I had a request from friends for my revised freezer pickle recipe. I had spoken about it in my column a week or so back. This recipe is lucky if it makes it to the deep freeze. It is delicious to have in the refrigerator for a few days. Along with the fresh tomatoes and grilled meats we’ve had some marvelous meals. And…I picked my first yellow tomato this week along with zucchini. My hopes are to write a new and revised zucchini casserole that will possibly tempt my mother; who greatly dislikes zucchini!!! Then there’s zucchini fritters, sweet breads, cakes and the list goes on.
Speaking of zucchini when I was looking into other freezer pickle recipes I found that some cooks implement zucchini slices with the pickles or in place of the pickles, found that rather interesting. The addition of the blanched carrot is a ‘Debbie’ thing. On the onion you might consider a purple onion for additional color. For culinary novices to ‘blanch’ means to bring water to a boil and cook the vegetable for maybe 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
The fresh vegetables of summer are so refreshing on the palate. This past week the peaches in the Ozark Mountains have been outstanding. It’s prompting me to move forward with my new chutney featuring pears, peaches and Bing cherries. I’ll let you know how that one comes out next week.
Other recipes I’m working on include a chicken stroganoff and chicken lasagna. Both need to be run about one more time before I am ready to bring them to print.
As the thumping overhead continues I’m finding it hard to bring my thoughts into focus! My husband, Ervin and I are off to Kansas City for the marriage of a good friend. It will be my first wedding wearing a mask. Phillip, our son, remains behind to hold the home front down. He is not overly fond of asking for time off when he works only 3 months, at a time. He returns to college the 21st of August. Even if the school closes for Covid he plans on staying in his apartment. Tutors will still be in place, on location.
This week it’s all about planning for the winter. I’m returning home with hostas to go in my front yard. Chutney to prepare and can, and a garage that needs to be totally cleaned and polished. One of my biggest tips is to keep busy with projects, no matter how big or small. It keeps us from entering negative and unproductive venues. Tip #2 would be instead of complaining about government or Covid get involved. If we desire change we have to forgo the verbal chatter and truly take action!
Observation: ‘The pounding is not bothering the butterflies, I wonder about their hearing capabilities?’ Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
7 cups sliced unpeeled cucumbers
1 cup sliced onion, I suggest sweet
3 peeled and sliced carrots, blanched
1 cup chopped green pepper, red & yellow good too
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1 1/2 cups sugar*
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1-2 teaspoons dry dill, optional
Combine cucumbers, onions, peppers, carrots and pickling salt. Set aside for two hours. Rinse and drain. Place in pint containers adding dry dill. 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.
The original recipe came from my mother, Betty Richardson Dance. I have modified it reducing sugar content and adding dill weed and the carrots. One time due to circumstances I had to let the mixture set in the refrigerator for a couple of days before I could freeze. They were still perfect. This doesn’t have to be frozen either. It’s also a great mix to hold in the refrigerator for several days. Some research shows cooks using zucchini in this presentation.
*For more sugar reduction try using agave nectar. Remember to use only three fourths of what you use with granulated sugar. Artificial sweeteners could also be used, cook’s choice. Personally I use about 4 packages of stevia for a half cup of sugar.