One of my new year's resolutions is to make more of my own "processed foods" (and rely less on industrial energy, packaging and transportation to nourish my cravings for a quick hunger fix). Even though it takes more time and energy, there is a special satisfaction that comes from eating something that you made entirely by yourself and of knowing exactly what's in your food. When I make my own veggie burgers, I don't have to worry about hydrogenated corn syrup or preservatives or food coloring. And I can make exactly what I want.
So far, I've started making my own jam, bread, granola, gnocchi, and veggie burgers. This week my CSA put a lot of cucumbers into my vegetable delivery - a lot more than I could eat before they went bad - so I decided to try making my own pickles. They were surprisingly easy to make, and were ready to eat in a day. Since I made pickle slices (and didn't pickle the entire cucumbers), they'll go great in sandwiches or on top of a burger. The jars (which were re-used, of course) are very pretty and would make nice gifts, too.
Here's the recipe:
6-7 large cucumbers, sliced
1-2 onions, sliced
1/4 cup salt
1/2 liter white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
5-10 whole black peppercorns
Use fresh cucumbers; wash and slice. Slice onions. Mix vegetables with salt and let stand 1 hour. (This makes them crunchy later on.)
Drain and rinse with 2 cups cold water (or until most of the salt is out). Combine vinegar, sugar, celery seeds and peppercorns and heat to boiling. Cook 3 minutes.Pack vegetables into jars and add hot vinegar mixture over them, leaving 1/4" headspace. Seal the jars immediately and let them cool before refrigerating or storing.