2:03 am - Monday, March 30 2020
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mustard pickles

mustard picklesIt’s canning season (the process of  preserving cooked food by sealing in jars or cans).  I come from a lineage of women who made their own preserves, jams, and jellies.  It was the best way to enjoy the summertime produce over winter.  Although in today’s world it might sound laborious and unnecessary with canned or frozen foods readily available, for me it’s a tribute to the women in my life who preserved food because it was a necessity.  I vividly recall my grandmother’s cold room full of preserves, pickles, canned vegetables, onions, potatoes, and winter squash – all ready to carry her through the winter months.  I enjoy serving my pickles to accompany a meal in the height of winter when the wind howls outside and the ground is buried in snow; every time a jar is opened a bit of summer shines through.  There are a few steps to making mustard pickles but the end result is so worth the effort and the taste is leap years ahead of the commercial stuff.

My mom, over the years, made her fair share of preserves.  It was always the first week back to school when mom started her pickles; we were out from under her feet and she could do as she pleased while we were away for those six or seven hours.  As my siblings and I got off the bus we could smell vinegar in the air before we even entered the house.  It was quite a shock to our senses and as I made this batch of mustard pickles it reminded me of my childhood.

3 lbs. pickling cucumbers, quartered (seeds removed)
1 lb. green tomatoes, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped (can also use green peppers)
1 lb. small white onions, quartered
1 large cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1/2 cup sea salt

Mustard Dressing –
6 tablespoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
7 to 8 cups apple cider vinegar (can use white vinegar)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon mustard seed (can also use celery seed)

In a large non-metallic bowl, add veggies. Sprinkle salt over and toss. Cover with cold water and let stand 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.  Place vegetables in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil then drain in a colander.  In the same pot put flour, mustard, and turmeric.  Stir in enough vinegar to make a smooth paste then add remaining vinegar and sugar.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until thick and smooth.  Add mustard seed, vegetables, and stir until heated through.  Spoon into hot sterilized jars making sure to leave 1/4-inch space at the top and seal.  Process in a water boiling bath for 10 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.  You will hear the lids pop indicating an effective seal has taken place.  Keep in a cool, dark place until ready to use.  Once opened, place in refrigerator.

mustard pickle veggiesThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  Some cooks add a small cabbage chopped up.  The key to keeping the crunch in the veggies is not over-cooking them.  Enjoy!

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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