A farmer’s market recently opened in our neighborhood. It is open every Friday from 3 – 7 and I try to stop by even if it is just to browse. We live in the city, but we grew up in the rural, agriculturally-centered, Midwest. Now, although I love the market dearly, –especially for the sense of community it is promoting in our neighborhood- I still have a hard time paying big city prices for fresh produce! Yet, on the other hand, it is hard to not drool over the freshness and quality that I just can’t get at the grocery store. So, as a compromise, each visit I try and treat our family to one item that is at the height of its season. This week it was pickling cucumbers. They looked nice and the price was right: 3 for $1.
I used a standard freezer pickle recipe. It uses only a few ingredients and makes up quickly. I made a batch and a half which used only 6 of my pickling cukes.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups cucumbers sliced very thin with skin left on.
In saucepan, combine water, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off heat and let cool. Meanwhile, wash and slice cucumbers. Place sliced cucumbers in freezer containers leaving 2 inches headspace for expansion. Divide syrup amongst containers, (do not overfill, but make sure cucumbers are mostly covered). Crumple a square of waxed paper and place over syrup-covered cucumbers (see picture below), cover with tight-fitting lid, and freeze. Thaw to serve. Makes about 5 pints.
These are going to be a sweet, bread & butter type pickle. They are good by themselves or excellent on a hamburger, tuna salad, or a cold roast beef sandwich.