Monday, July 23, 2012

Pickles and pickled foods of all kinds: Enjoying the bounty of your garden, CSA or Farmers market

When I was a child my grandmothers canned and froze the vegetables from their gardens. My mother did too. We enjoyed all kinds of wonderful pickled items all winter long. Zucchini pickles, garlic dill pickles, sweet and spicy pickles, Italian giardineria, Amish chow-chow...the list goes on and on.
This past week I've been sharing a lot of the recipes from my childhood. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
This was my mother's go to recipe when I was growing up. Sweet or sweet and spicy freezer pickles. My dad loved these, especially when she made them with zucchini instead of cucumbers. Thick or thin sliced, they are delicious.
Freezer pickles
And of course, dad's favorite pickles, zucchini pickles. I think it was the only time he ever ate zucchini that wasn't fried back in those days. Of course, these days dad loves raw zucchini, he's come a long long way! Mom would fill up the crocks of the crock pots and let these sit covered on the counter overnight before canning them. When I asked her why, she said they just tasted better that way. I've had them my grandmother's way when she just canned them and my mom's way where she let them sit overnight. I like them both!
Zucchini pickles
These are my very favorite pickle of all time, garlic dill pickles. I like to put several whole cloves of fresh garlic in the pickles because I love the taste of pickled garlic. Yeah, I'm weird like that! If you're not a fan of garlic, leave it out and just make dill pickles.
Kirby cucumbers are perfect for making whole garlic dill pickles
Seven day sweet pickles were my grandfather's favorite pickle. He'd ask for these as soon as the cucumbers started growing in the garden. I think they reminded him a lot of his childhood growing up during the Great Depression. He didn't get a lot of sweets because sugar was expensive, but the one thing his mother would make was sweet pickles. 
Seven Day sweet pickles

Here's another one of my personal favorites, Italian giardiniera! It's a little spicy, but not too much, and I used to eat this by the jar full! I still do...I love it! When my youngest son, who is almost 19, was around 4 or 5, this was the only vegetable he would eat sometimes. Of course, he grew to love veggies, he eats cauliflower and brussels sprouts like crazy, but back in those days whatever way we could get veggies in him, we used it!
Italian giardiniera
Last but not least, Amish chow-chow. This comes from my Amish/Quaker grandmother. I remember my grandmother and a couple of her sisters, she was one of 11 children, in the kitchen and everyone brought whatever they had left from the garden and they would make big batches of chow-chow. Basically it's the sweet Amish version of Italian giardiniera, but it sometimes has kidney or lima beans in it. No wonder I like it so much!

Amish chow-chow
That's all the pickled recipes I have for now, but I am trying a new freezer dill pickle recipe and a pickled eggplant recipe. They're almost ready for tasting, so look for those recipes in the next couple of weeks.
Until next time I remain Frugally Yours!
Rachael Monaco


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