My yearly allotment of my mother-in-law’s homemade sweet & spicy pickles has arrived. They have been safely locked away for special occasions. I only got four quarts, add that to the 1/2 jar already in the fridge, I might have enough to last me until the next batch. These are a hot commodity in my home. Wondering what make these pickles so special?
#1 made with love
my mother in law shops for and purchases the pickles (cucumbers) herself, cleans them, prepares them for pickling in huge ceramic crocks, drains and cooks the pickling brew several times. When it comes time to can them, several weeks have passed. She drains them, cuts them up, packs them tight, adds some wicked awesome seasonings a cinnamon stick and a nice bath in the cooker to seal the deal.
This makes me feel loved because;
she probably has better things to do
lifting five gallon ceramic crocks full of pickles is no easy feat
done several times over a couple of weeks makes me tired just thinking about it
at about 5′ 1″ (if that) she’s feisty but come on…early 70’s? I’m not sure I’ll be reading a blog written by my daughter in law gushing over my homemade sweet pickles
I truly believe that canning is becoming a lost art. This makes me sad. I don’t want to lose this family tradition, the recipe or the art of canning. At last count, two of my adorable grand children have to be chaperoned around the pickle plate during our family gatherings, if not they will consume what is with in reach of their little fingers.
I’m pretty sure there will more pickle
thieves lovers as they grow to reach the condiment dishes.
#2 I only use these pickles for relish
I have a special jar in the fridge with chopped sweet pickles and this is what we use for hot dogs, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad…and anything else that requires a slathering of sweet pickle relish.
Wake up! I just shared a secret! you might never hear or read it again. Legend has it that my tuna and chicken salad rocks…now ya know why! mom’s pickles.
Why do I go to so much trouble for pickle relish? Because every sweet pickle relish on the market has high fructose corn syrup in it and it’s all juicy. Yuck! I try really, really hard to eliminate as much HFCS from my family’s diet when I can. Which is really difficult as it is found in everything and it’s not good for you.
Call me picky. Call me finicky. Call me obsessive.
I will answer to all three.
and really? yes I know mom’s “sweet” pickles have sugar in them and trust me, I do limit my family’s sugar intake too. While on the subject we don’t allow artificial sweeteners in our home at all. That’s a whole nother soap box 😉
#3 the taste
Oh my goodness. It’s like putting a party in your mouth when you bite into one. There are a few people in our family who don’t like them. but you know what I say about that?
More for me!
I think it’s time that I get up to mom’s and learn the family recipe. But more than that, learn how to can something and spend quality time with my mother in law and learning something I can pass down to my children someday.
I’m on my way next week to learn the ropes. I’m driving from Texas to Ohio to help my MIL can some pickles. Since money is tight with son in college I set up a Fundly campaign to help raise support for my trip.
I know it’s sort of strange but who knows, if I don’t mess up the recipe I might be setting up a give-a-way for a quart or two.
peace. love. pickles.