Pickling Spice

It seems like all I do is go to supermarkets looking for ingredients. There are certain stores that profess to have everything thing you are looking for in exotic, hard to find ingredients. This particular market NEVER has what I am looking for! I can’t tell you how irritated I get. On a typical day, I go to 5 stores.  I used to be able to easily find pickling spice to make my Refrigerator Pickles.  The store is now out of business.  I have had a bag of pickling cucumbers on my counter for a week tormenting my family.  “Mom, make the pickles!”  Here is a recipe to make your own pickling spice.

Pickling Spice

4 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
1 piece dried ginger root, 1 inch long
2 Tbs mustard seed
2 tsp whole allspice
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp dill seed
2 tsp whole coriander seed
2 tsp whole mace, crumbled
8 bay leaves, crumbled
1 whole dried red pepper, 1 1/2 inches long, chopped

Wrap cinnamon sticks and ginger root in clean cloth.

Pound with mallet or hammer until finely crumbled; discard stringy parts of ginger. Add to remaining ingredients and stir well.

Store in airtight jars.

Use for pickling cucumbers.

Pickled Radishes

The high nutritional value of radishes…

Radishes are a member of the Brassicaceae family – also known as cruciferous vegetables. Related to broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, the nutritional value of radishes is relatively high, especially when the whole plant is consumed. The tangy flavor of all types of radishes are due to the mustard oil found in cruciferous plants. Radish varieties come in an array of colors and sizes. They can be red, pink, black, purple, or white.

Radishes, like other cruciferous vegetables, are high in vitamin C, which is the primary cancer-preventing antioxidant agent. One cup of the root supplies twenty-five percent of the daily recommended amount. Radish greens have six times the amount of vitamin C found in the root, as well as a significant amount of calcium, iron, and thiamine. These vegetables are also good sources of folic acid, potassium, and the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum is thought to be involved in nervous system development, kidney function, and energy production at the cellular level.

Radishes are also a wonderful food for weight loss. Eating radishes actually makes you feel full because they are high in roughage and water. If you are on a diet, the high nutritional content, combined with the low calories, makes radishes excellent additions to light foods that could use the extra kick.

Pickled Radishes

Makes 1 half pint

6 radishes, sliced very thin (1 heaping cup)
1 large shallot cut into eighths
½ cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ tsp salt

Place the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small pot and heat over a medium low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the radishes and shallots. Heat until the vinegar just begins to boil, and then remove from heat.

Pack into a sterilized half pint jar and refrigerate. Allow the radishes to cure one week before serving. You may have a little extra vinegar. I saved mine and used it in salad dressing.

Refrigerator Pickles

My Pretty Pickles

I made these amazing pickles on Saturday. I have never made pickles before. My family was very dubious, until they tasted them 6 hours later. They are completely hooked.  They were scarfing them down at 11:30 Saturday night in their PJs.  It was so successful, that I went out and bought more vinegar to make more.  I want to try to make green beans, carrots, asparagus and snap peas!

Refrigerator Pickles

1 to 1½ lbs of picking cucumbers, sliced into spears or chips
1 cup sliced onions
2 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
2 Tbs kosher salt
2½ Tbs sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs pickling spice
1 Tbs dill weed

Put the cucumbers and onions in a 3 liter jar.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, garlic, pickling spice and dill weed to a boil. Lower heat and simmer about 2 -3 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and let cool 5 minutes.
Pour the pickling mixture over the pickles and let cool 15 minutes. Seal the jar and let come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 – 3 weeks. They are ready to eat in 24 hours!