Back in April, my kids and I picked out a few types of seeds to plant in the very limited “sunny spot” in our yard. My daughter picked two kinds of flowers, while my son and I picked out veggies. He chose pumpkins and carrots, while I picked cucumbers and basil. The basil looks a little sad because some critters have been chewing on the leaves, and the carrots are coming along. The cucumbers and pumpkins have grown into a crazy bramble of leaves and vines. I actually thought it was all pumpkin, but then I was poking around the other day and I discovered an 8-inch, fully ripe cucumber in the midst of it all. We like our pickles around here, so I was a happy lady!
Here is a simple, real food recipe for pickles. My husband likes sweet pickles, but I wasn’t willing to make them with loads of sugar like I’ve done in the past. This batch has some honey, along with lots of vinegar and some seasonings (adapted from this recipe from Whole Foods). It passes everyone’s pickle test in my house, which is quite a feat.
4 cucumbers (6 inches each)
2/3 cup honey
½ cup white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. celery seed
¼ tsp. mustard powder
- Sterilize 3 pint jars in boiling water or in the dishwasher (see here for details about sterilizing).
- Slice the cucumbers ¼ inch or smaller with a mandolin and divide them among the jars.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the remaining ingredients and simmer them over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the mixture over the cucumbers in the jars (1/3 in each jar). Proceed with canning or refrigerate.
Using cucumbers from my garden, the total cost of this recipe is $2.90, or $.97 per pint of pickles. This is a great price for high-quality, real food pickles, and it’s a great way to stock up when the cucumbers are plentiful in your garden.