North Dakota Memories
Each summer, we’d pile into our unairconditioned station wagon and take the eight hour trek up to visit our North Dakota relatives. There were no seat belts or radio in that car, either. My dad was a frugal man! We’d kill time by picking out our favorite farm houses and playing license plate games as we headed north on I-35. Once our trip corresponded with a total eclipse of the sun, so we drove to the Canada border for an awesome show by Mother Nature. More typically, we’d create our own adventures with our cousins. We climbed into the barn lofts, visited the dogs and horses, ate homemade caramels and tacos and helped make bread and butter pickles. My dad was more of a dill and garlic sort of guy, but, like my mom and her clan, I loved these sweet, sliced pickles flavored with mustard and celery seeds. I’m certain my aunt, Angela, actually canned hers, but I took the easy route with this refrigerator version. At that age, I was much more interested in eating them than paying attention to the process, but I’m delighted it was so easy to replicate the taste.
Bread and Butter Pickles
To make these pickles, slices of cucumber and onions were heavily salted and covered with ice. Over three hours, the ice began to melt and the vegetables were brined. After a double rinse, the cukes and onions were added to a hot pickling mixture of vinegar, sugar and spices. These pickles were then packed in jars and cooled before screwing on the lids and refrigerating. Now wasn’t that simple? Since this method did not involve sterilization, they should be eaten within a couple weeks. They are quite sweet, so feel free to decrease the sugar if desired. Happy preserving!
This week, the Sunday Supper crew is into “Saving Summer” by using all methods including canning, freezing and preserving. Check out all the marvelous recipes and tips from my Sunday Supper friends.
Learn how to …
- Dry Fruit – No-Dehydrator-Needed from Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Freeze Cherries from Pies and Plots
- Freeze Herbs from Rhubarb and Honey
- Make Freezer Harvest Soup Kits from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Make Pesto Cubes from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Make and Freeze Rosemary Butter from Momma’s Meals
- Make Ready to Blend Smoothie Packs for Your Freezer from The Educators’ Spin On It
- Oven Dry Cherries from The Redhead Baker
Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies
- Blueberry, Peaches and Cream Green Smoothies from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Green Tea and Chocolate Saketini from Ninja Baking
- Sangria from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Scoop up special salsas and sauces
- Classic Freezer Tomato Sauce from Noshing With The Nolands
- Peach Salsa from The Texan New Yorker
- Pico de Gallo from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Apple – Carrot Chutney from What Smells So Good?
- Spring Conserve from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Jump into jellies, jams and preserves
- Apricot Habanero Jam from Food Lust People Love
- Corn Cob Jelly from Daily Dish Recipes
- Hot Pepper Jelly from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- No Pectin Apricot Jam from Curious Cuisiniere
- Peach Preserves from Delaware Girl Eats
- Pineapple Mango Moscato Jam from Seduction in the Kitchen
- Raw Raspberry-Vanilla Chia Jam from Shockingly Delicious
- Savory Fig and Sweet Onion Freezer Jam from Peaceful Cooking
- Spicy Ginger Tomato Jam with Coconut Sugar from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Spicy Red Pepper Jam from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Pucker up for pickles
- Bread and Butter Pickles from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pickled Beets and Onions from Kudos Kitchen by Renée
- Pickled Green Tomatoes from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños with Herbs from Magnolia Days
- Refrigerator Pickled Radish and Turnips from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Refrigerator Pickles from Webicurean
- Sweet Pickled Cauliflower from Because I Like Chocolate
Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish
- Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup from Neighborfood
- Savory Summer Kimchi from A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
Dive into divine desserts
- Easy (no machine) Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Mama Bee Does
- Freeze ‘em For Later Peach Berry Hand Pies from eating in instead
- Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries from Peanut Butter and Pepper
- Lemon and Blackberry Meringue Cakes from Happy Baking Days
- Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake with Vanilla Drizzle from Wallflour Girl
- Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- 2 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced
- 8 pearl onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup canning salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- A pinch of ground cloves
- In a large container, combine the cucumbers, onions and salt. Cover with crushed ice and mix well. Let stand for 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again.
- In a large pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric and cloves and bring to a boil. Add cucumber mixture, then return to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- Carefully ladle hot mixture into jars. Let cool, then screw on lids and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. If you'd like to store them longer, refer to a canning manual or website for directions.
I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature tips on some of my upcoming blog posts.
Tip #35: This tip is courtesy of my friend, Christy, from Confessions of a Culinary Diva. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find the meat, produce and dairy. Avoid premade, packaged convenience foods in the center of the market, since they tend to be higher in calories and lower in nutrients.