Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Wilder Side: Small Batch Pickles on the Road:

Sometimes I get a bee in my bonnet and I can't let it go.  Each fall season for the past few years, I've made a small batch of homemade pickles. It's very easy and it helps me to acknowledge my Laura Ingalls Wilder-side.

This year, I was in Seattle living in a hotel with a kitchenette. No pickle making for me, or so it seemed.  Then I was at the farmer's market, saw these beautiful pickle-size cucumbers and thought to myself, "Why exactly am I not making pickles this year?"
I decided that at small batch would make 4 jars. I bought what I thought would be enough cucumbers and the total cost of my bag of cucumbers was a whopping $1.00. I guess I needed .35 cents more worth of cucumbers, because I only came up with enough slices to make 3 jars, which in my case, is even better. How many pickles can one couple eat?

I stood in the vendor's booth at the farmer's market and went through a check list in my head. To make Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles, I would need Ball jars, vinegar, white sugar, pickling spice mix, salt, turmeric and cucumbers. Easy peasy. 

Do you know what was the hardest part of this little endeavor? Finding Pickling Spice. I know!  While there is a Canning Department in every store from Target, Supermarket and Hardware Store, I had a really hard time finding pickling spice here in Seattle.  My husband mentioned this to a co-worker and she said that, Yes, it indeed does sell out around here.  Fascinating.  

Are the stores under buying?  Has all the small batch and home canning articles finally reached a point where pickling has moved to main stream? I think it is a great evolution, though I wish I had known and could have included it in my Spice Stash.

You have a Spice Stash with you in Seattle? Oh yes. Ziploc baggies with a few tablespoons of my go-to spices. Dry Mustard, Dill, Cinnamon etc. Having just enough spices on hand makes cooking in the hotel so much easier.

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