Each week when I chat with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio, we talk about Bible foods and herbs.Today it was all about cucumbers. Of course, cucumbers mean pickles at our house this time of year, so here are 2 yummy, easy pickle recipes.
Numbers 11: 5-6
When the people wept “Oh that we had some of the delicious fish we enjoyed in Egypt – cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic…”
And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
How did the people of Bible times eat them?
It was one of the most favored of all foods. It was actually so valuable that watchtowers were built in the fields to protect the crops against thievesI am sure they ate most of them fresh and they also preserved them by pickling with vinegar using that popular Bible herb dill. They also ate them with barley cakes and that made a complete meal.
Cucumbers have a definite taste and a crunch to them. Are they as good nutritionally as they taste?
Cucumbers contain mostly water, so a good way to hydrate is by incorporating cucumbers in your meal planning. They have anti-inflammatory qualities, and a good amount of vitamin C. The skins and seeds are even more nutritionally beneficial than the flesh! They’re also a good source of fiber which as you know helps our digestive system work properly.
FREEZER BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES
I have friends who are passionate about these bread & butter type freezer pickles. The right mix of sweet and tangy flavors and a whole lot of crunch! My sister, Sonia, gave me this recipe years ago. She told me to make lots because everybody loves them! Can be divided
- 2 quarts thinly sliced Kirby, pickling or English cucumbers
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar, 5% acid
- 3 cups sugar
- Combine cucumbers, onion, pepper and carrots. Stir in salt, celery and mustard seed.
- Mix vinegar and sugar together. Pour over cucumber mixture. Stir to combine. Sugar will not dissolve all the way.
- Cover and refrigerate three days, stirring each day. This allows sugar to dissolve completely.
- Leaving 1” headspace, pack in freezable containers, making sure the pickles are covered in juice. Seal and freeze up to six months.
Yield: Approximately 1-1/2 quarts. (Pickles seem to “shrink” a bit during pickling.
One of my readers sent this in to me several years ago. Her Dad made big batches of these in the laundry tub, so I named them “Washtub Pickles”. These are easy enough for a child to make.
3 quarts thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced or chopped bell peppers – can be green, red, yellow, whatever
2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 cups chopped or thinly sliced carrots – can use already grated carrots
2 tablespoons celery seed
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup salt
2 cups white vinegar
Pour brine over veggies. Let sit several hours on counter, stirring every once in a while. Store in frig.