Peter Pipers Pickling Party {Dill Relish & Bread and Butter Slices}

I need to figure out Peter Piper’s method for was growing veggies he could pick a peck of  that were already pickled. Until then, August is pickling season. Once again our garden has inundated us with mass quantities of cucumbers, within the last week. So I spent this past rainy Sunday in the kitchen processing about 14+ pounds of cucumbers. First up was 8 pounds of relish, and then about a gallon of bread and butter pickles. This is the first year I made relish, and it was a great way to use up the cucumbers that weren’t up to par for pickles.

My most favorite addition to this years harvest has hands down been my mandolin. It’s really important keep your pickles uniform so they heat evenly, and the mandolin allowed me to get slices of the same thickness.

For the recipes on this post I used the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This post is in no way paid for/sponsored by Ball, I just think they are a really great source. If you’re unfamiliar with home preservation techniques, I suggest you read the book and do some research. It’s extremely important your fruit is washed and unblemished, your jars are sterilized and your kitchen is clean before you start with everything laid out as you need it. The last thing you want is any sort of bacterial introduction, and/or to be running around grabbing things when you’re ladling hot liquids.

Dill Pickle Relish (taken from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

  • 8 pounds cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup picking/sea salt (do not use table salt for canning, ever)
  • 2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions (I found a mandolin worked great for this)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp dill seeds (I had no dill seeds, so I used a hefty portion of dried dill. I really wanted super dill relish though. Remember whatever you use will get stronger over time).
  • 4 cups white vinegar (about 5% acidity)

Directions (abbreviated from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, with notes from myself added in)

1. Finely chop cucumbers in small batches, transferring to a glass or stainless bowl as you finish. A food processor works great for this. Sprinkle with pickling salt and tumeric. Cover with water and place in fridge for about 2 hours.

2. Drain cucumbers and rinse thoroughly. Press extra water out with your hands in small batches. I initially use a couple books to press the water out.

3. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
4. Combine vinegar, dill, sugar and onions in large saucepan. Add in drained cucumbers. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce and boil gently, stirring to prevent sticking. Do this until slightly thickened and vegetables are heated through. This will take about 10 minutes to reduce.

5. Ladle hot relish into jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rim, and seal handtight. My advice is to only fill one jar at a time and seal. Don’t leave the jar uncovered once filled.
6. Place jars back in the canner, until completely covered with water. Once the water is at a full rolling boil again, time for 15 minutes (this will depending on your altitude, research proper processing times for your area). Wait 5 minutes, remove jars and cool. Do not tilt jars to dump water off the top when you pull them out. This water will quickly evaporate.
Store in a cool dry place and give a few months for optimal taste, though it can be eaten within a few days.

Bread and Butter Pickles (adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

  • 10 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
  • 5 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
 Directions (seriously abbreviated from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, with notes from myself added in)
1. Slide onions thinly and cucumbers into rounds of the similar size – this is where a mandoline comes in super handy! Combine cucumbers, onions, salt in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with water and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. I cover with plastic wrap to keep anything out of the mix.
2. Rinse the cucumbers then drain thoroughly.
3. Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed and mustard seed in a large pot until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
4.  Turn to low, add the cucumbers and heat through, about 10 minutes. Do not boil. Turn heat off if using gas, or remove from burner if using electric heat. At this point they will already taste pretty much awesome.
5. Add cucumber first to the jars and then fill with pickling liquid to cover pickles. Leave a generous 1/2 inch headspace.  Clean rims, add hot lids and rings. Process about 15 minutes in a hot water bath at a full boil. Remember “processing time” doesn’t start until it hits full boil.

After a long day in the kitchen over boiling water and vinegar, in the middle of August, I was ready for nothing except to take a shower. So tomorrow’s lunch will be almond butter and jelly. {If you lost me – I normally make lunch for the next day at night, and I was done with the kitchen}.

I’m shuddering looking at all of the equally green tomato’s in the garden.  I may need to nip this in the butt and make some green tomato salsa.

Ok, in all reality – I love it. I love not having to buy this stuff. I love having on the go gifts. I love putting up produce we grow and harvest right in our back yard. A garden is a great thing to have.

Happy Pickling,
Heather

Mushroom Macaroni & Nutritional Yeast {It’s Delicious}

I’m not a vegan, or even a vegetarian but I have a soft spot in my heart stomach for a warm batch of Macaroni and Nutritional Yeast. I like it better than Mac and Cheese, sort of. I only compare it because most recipes do. If you made me choose one to eat though, I’d go with this stuff. Ok, so they do look alike.

{Best Simon Cowell impersonation} If I’m being honest, and I am, they taste nothing alike.

Wow, I’m really bad at British accents.

The point is, I don’t really consider these similar taste wise. Yes, they are both pasta covered in an ooey gooey sauce. That’s about it, in my humble opinion. If you’ve never had nutritional yeast I think it’s one of those things you either love or hate. I grew up on nutritional yeast. I love it. I sprinkle it on burritos, I make gooey sauce out of it, I sprinkle it on eggs with salsa. I’m a super fan. Not quite boy band fan level, but almost.

If you have no idea what Nutritional Yeast is,  it’s a yeast flake which is a complete protein and full of vitamins, especially B vitamins.

“Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast…it is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 is produced separately (by bacteria) and then added to the yeast…Nutritional yeast has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes”Wikipedia

Does that help?

Mushroom Macaroni & Nutritional Yeast

Given the garden I really needed to add some veggies in, so I’ve gone off course from my regular recipe to add in some garden garlic and a whole lotta mushrooms {which were store bought}. I love me some mushrooms. Everyone who likes this enjoys it differently. My suggestion is to start basics and then taste as you go. This is why I haven’t given exact measurements.

Ingredients:

  • cavatappi pasta
  • 16 ounces mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • Butter or vegetable oil to sautee garlic and mushrooms in
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • liquid of choice (recommend milk or water)
  • 1.5 cups nutritional yeast
  • Soy Sauce to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
  • worcestershire to taste (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon tumeric
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1.)  Start your water boiling and cook pasta according to the box
2.) Mince garlic and mushrooms
3.) Put butter or oil in a separate larger pot
4.) Saute garlic for a few minutes, add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms soften to your preferred consistency. Do not drain liquid.
5.) Add 1/2 cup of flour to the mushroom and stir until mixed. It will be similar to a roux, but not exactly due to the mushrooms and garlic.

6.)  Once smooth, add liquid and stir until smooth again. Start with about a 1/2 cup of liquid and keep adding until you reach a nice consistency. Remember you’ll be adding in nutritional yeast, so it’s ok to be slightly more liquid than thick. Stir in nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup at a time. Add more liquid if necessary to keep it smooth and moving. The nutritional yeast should be fully dissolved.
7. )  Add in turmeric, soy sauce, worcestershire, salt and pepper to taste.
8. )  Drain your pasta (if you haven’t already) and add into the sauce. Gently turn to coat the pasta.

Eat. Eat. Eat. Om. Nom. Nom.

Happy trying something new, something yummy and something gooey,

-Heather