Sunday, March 30, 2008

No Dill Icicle Pickles

Give Away Wed. April 2nd!

The Farmer's Market did indeed have something yummy for me to can. The pickling cucumbers were nice and firm and sweet smelling so I brought a few home. I'm not a big cucumber or pickle eater but Spouse is mad for them.
Every time I think of pickles, I think of Gloria. I asked her (rather naively) once why she kept her rent controlled apartment at a hotel for women in Manhattan when she and her husband had such a lovely brownstone. Gloria told me it was for pickles.

Her husband John hated pickles. He hated the sight of them. He hated the smell of them. He hated them passionately. I believe she felt much the same way about his jazz record collection. Gloria said there was nothing nicer than slipping away to her little pied a terre where no men were allowed, to put up and devour pickles in peace. This recipe was one of her favorites.

Icicle Pickles
3-1/2 lbs. medium cucumbers
1 qt. cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salt
1 tbsp. mustard seed
1 tbsp. celery seed

Wash the cucumbers but do not peel. Cut into lengthwise quarter or eighths and soak in ice water for 5 hours. Add ice as necessary to keep the water cold. Drain and pack in hot sterilized jars. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard and celery seed in a saucepan. Bring to the boiling point and boil for 1 minute. Pour over the cucumbers to within 1/2 inch of the tops of jars and seal at once. Let stand for 4-6 weeks before using. 5 pints.