What do you do when you grow cucumbers, make pickles!
Well not just any pickles, cucumber relish, cucumber chutney, finely sliced sweet pickles, vinegary, spicy thick sliced bread and butter pickles, chopped pickles in omelettes, tomato, cucumber and onion salsa, raita – the list goes on but there comes a time when the creativity runs out. Then when you think it’s totally under control the neighbour gives you some from their excess crop. We are masters of the cucumber.
SWEET AND SPICY THICK SLICED BREAD AND BUTTER CUCUMBERS
I’m guessing that they are called Bread and Butter pickles because they go well on bread and butter, which they do, especially with any kind of meat or sliced egg or anything actually.
- 1 kg well washed thin cucumbers, cut at least 3 cm off the flowering end and slice about 5mm thick (the fat ones have heaps of seeds. These can be sliced in half and scraped out if necessary. I keep the fat ones for pickles and sauces)
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 2 chillis – whole or sliced – de-seeded if you are wary of the heat or omit altogether
- 1/4 cup salt (non-iodised (metallic taste), no anti-caking agents (goes cloudy))
- Pickling liquid
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups white sugar (or sugar substitute if you must)
- 1 1/2 tbs yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes (know your chilli flakes – mine are very hot)
- 1 tbs coriander seeds
- 1 tbs fennel seeds
- 1 tbs tumeric powder
- 2 tbs black peppercorns
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- Put the sliced cucumbers, chilli (if using) and onions in a large bowl and stir the salt through. Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours. This removes a fair bit of the juice.
- Prepare the jars and lids by putting through a dishwasher or use any other method of your choice.
- Make up the pickling juice by bringing all the ingredients to a boil and simmering for 5 minutes then leave until the cucumbers are ready.
- Put the cucumbers into a sieve and rinse under running water for a few minutes to remove most of the salt. Squeeze lightly to remove excess water from them then return to the bowl.
- Bring the pickling brine to the boil again, pour over the cucumbers and stir to combine.
- Scoop the cucumbers into their jars, push down and cover with the juice. I cover the cucumbers with loosely fitting plastic wrap then weight with a little bag of water to keep them submerged. If necessary add extra vinegar to ensure they are covered.
- Store in the fridge.