A: Pickle in a tickle

What better way to address an abundance of cucumbers than to conjure up a batch of pickles! Bread and butter pickles, to be precise. (Apparantly named for the fact that they go really well on buttered bread. The creativity there is mind-blowing.)

I consulted my all-knowing fail-proof Pickle and Chutney Cookbook. That’s Digby Law’s Pickle and Chutney Cookbook to you northern hemisphere dwellers who are yet to experience the privilege of reading this New Zealand classic. It’s got no pictures, no interesting Nigella-esque anecdotes or fancy language. Just really, really good recipes for pickles, chutneys and preserves. I love it. I keep it in my car when planning my chutneys or pickles just in case a bargain catches my eye in the shops (it was VERY useful at the wholesale market!).

Bread and Butter pickles

Ingredients:

8 large cucumbers, unpeeled and sliced

3 large onions, sliced

4 large green peppers (I used red seeing how an entire box of red peppers just happeded to be sitting on my dining table.)

1 cup salt

9 cups cold water

1.8 litres malt vinegar (I found 3 varieties of malt vinegar at my local supermarket- light, dark and spiced. I opted for light this time.)

1 tbsp turmeric

1 tsp mustard seed (I used black)

1 tsp celery seed (Had none so upped the mustard)

Method:

Combine vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and add the water. Let stand for 3 hours. Drain without rinsing.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until boiling, add the vegetables and bring back to boiling point but do not boil.

Pack into hot, clean jars and seal.

Ready to eat in 3-4 weeks and should keep for 6-12 months.

“A jar of pickles can be extremely attactive when arranged with care.” – Digby Law

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