Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Saving Summer


One of my kids remarked that Labor Day is the last day of summer. "Actually, it's September 23rd, I replied". But back to school, russet colored decorations filling the stores, and an undeniable chill in the evening air certainly signal a big shift.  But, canning and freezing the lovely fruit and vegetables of summer that are rapidly being usurped by their fall counterparts is one way to save summer--at least in your kitchen.

I found a darling little vegetable that looked like a mini cucumber in my local Indian grocery. In my mind I reasoned it must taste like a cucumber because it looks like a cucumber and therefore be used in the way I use cukes.  But in actuality, the tindora, as it is called, is used more in cooked, hot dishes in Indian cuisine. Sauteed in spicy red sauces with other vegetables, it is far from the humble cukes I know and love.

Nevertheless, I decided the tindoras would make the most delectable bite sized pickles.  I went ahead and tried them in an easy dill pickle recipe. It requires no actual canning (although you can if you want), just storage in plastic or glass containers in my refrigerator.  The process is easy, requiring not much more than slicing and boiling. The result...a crisp bite or two that is redolent with the memory of summer.

Slender Persian cucumbers or sliced Kirbies work equally well for this recipe.  If you prefer to can and preserve your pickles check out the Ball Canning website  for instructions.

Bombay via Brooklyn Pickles

1 pound Tindora or Persian cucumbers, washed and halved lenghtwise
1 cup dill weed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tablespoon pickling spices
1/2 Tablespoon peppercorns
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt

Place ingredients in a large Dutch oven or stock pot in order listed. Stir.

Bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until salt and sugar are dissolved. 

Remove lid and allow to cool completely. 

Divide among clean quart jars or plastic containers. 

Refrigerate 2 to 3 days before using.  Keeps in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Yield: 1 pound pickles

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