Getting Pickled

My Dad was interested in photography for quite a few years and he loved to take photos and have them made into slides. After he died I asked if I could have the slides and I have been going through them and scanning some for this blog. I came across the one below right and thought it was perfect for this entry. It was taken out at Uncle Gus’s camp at one of the many, many picnics we had there over the years. That’s Mom when she was probably in her late thirties and that’s a big jar of pickled eggs that she has just placed on the table. She made pickled eggs all the time and I still make them. They are wonderful and a good, protein-rich snack.

Pickled Eggs
Boil a dozen eggs (or more if you have a jar that can hold them). Peel them and pack in a large glass jar. In a saucepan mix:

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 large onion sliced
1 cup of juice from a can of red beets
2-3 cloves (optional)
Simmer until the sugar is melted and the onions are just slightly tender. Pour over the eggs and add the beets if there is room. Store at least 48 hours before serving. You can keep them unrefrigerated for a couple days but refrigerate for longer storage — if they last that long.

Penn State Pickles
I graduated from Penn State but I don’t know where this recipe came from. I’ll bet the agricultural extension office. Mom made them pretty often and they are delicious.
Wash and cut the ends off 4 lbs. Of pickles. Cut into bite-sized chunks. In a saucepan combine:
1 quart vinegar
1 tblsp mustard seeds
3 tblsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
the cucumbers
Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Drain and discard the syrup. Pack the pickles into jars. In a sauce pan combine:
3 3/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 tsp celery seed
1 tblsp allspice
3 3/4 cups vinegar
Simmer 5 minutes. Pour over the pickles and process 5 minutes.

Pickled Peaches
I used to make these to give in jars as Christmas presents. In The Old Mermaid’s Tale, Clair’s mother makes them for her husband.
Scald and remove the skin from 7 or 8 slightly green peaches. Cut them into quarters and remove the seed. Stick a clove into each segment. Combine:
1 pound white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
½ cup water
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
Boil 5 minutes and then add the peaches a few at a time until they are cooked. Spoon them into hot, sterile jars and process 15 minutes. Let stand a few weeks before serving

Beth’s Pickled Mushrooms
Beth (left) is our youngest sister. She always loved these.
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of a pound of small, fresh mushrooms. Dissolve a tblsp of salt in a quart of water and add the mushrooms. Soak 10 minutes and then drain. In a saucepan combine:
1/3 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 small chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt.
Bring to a boil and add mushrooms. Return to boil and then simmer 5 minutes. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator 2-3 days before serving.

Mom’s Best Dill Pickles
Mom got this recipe from a teacher at Elk County Christian High School where she worked and all of us attended high school. She says they are the very best pickles she has ever tasted or made.
Boil together:
3 quarts water
1 quart vinegar
½ cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp alum
Pack 20 to 24 small cucumbers into glass jars. Add 2 cloves of garlic and a head of dill to each jar. Pour the hot brine to fill the jars. Seal and process.

Pickled Pub Onions
Remove the skins from 2 pounds of small onions (about the size of a walnut). With a sharp knife slice off the root end and cut an X across it (this helps the onions hold together while cooking.) Press a whole clove into about half of the onions. In a saucepan combine:
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
Bring to a boil and add the onions. Simmer for 2-3 minutes but no longer. Remove onions and let them drain. Reduce the brine to 1 cup and add 1/d cup dried currants. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of a good, hearty red wine or port, if you prefer. Pack onions in glass jars and pour the wine sauce over them. Chill for 3-4 days before serving.



Blogger Brooke said...

Oh my god. And you cook?

I've been wanting to do some pickling (especially peaches) lately. Thanks for the recipes! I'll be sure to try them out!


July 13, 2008 5:11 PM  

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Recipes and Memories from a Pennsylvania Dutch Childhood

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