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Friday, September 16, 2011

Slippery Jacks

Here it is, my first-ever guest post writer: my Mom.  I've told you a bit about her, how she shaped my love of food and cooking, and what an inspiration she is in the kitchen.  She's not afraid to make bagels from scratch, or complicated Mexican desserts, or a pickle that takes four days of attention.

It’s pickling season and if you have your own garden you’re probably trying to think of ways to preserve or use up the giant cucumbers that appear to grow to gargantuan size overnight. Recipes so often call for more normal dimensions and you can’t give them away either because everyone’s in the same boat…. or pickle. Well here’s a really weird cucumber pickle recipe that will use up about a dozen of those bloated gourds. There’s probably not a speck of nutrition left in them but pickles aren’t about that anyway and these are really good with your favourite curry dish, with cheese and crackers or just for when you want a pickle. This recipe comes from Riverport on the South Shore of Nova Scotia and though the method may sound as if they would end up otherwise, they really are sweet, crisp and tender! 

Slippery Jacks

Wash 10 cucumbers, ripe and as large as they grow and cover with boiling water. Next day, drain and cover again with boiling water. Repeat this step on the third day. Next day peel, remove seeds and cut into strips. In a large pot, bring to a boil:

  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice or prepare your own using bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, mustard seed and whole cloves. Bundle them up in cheesecloth tied with a string and hang them in the syrup.
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups white vinegar

Boil syrup for two minutes, remove from heat and add cucumber strips. Let sit for two days, then bring just to a boil without cooking. Put in sterilized jars and seal. 

It's me again.  I just wanted to thank my Anna Osburn (that's my Mom)  for taking all the pictures and creating today's post!  The song in the video clip is from my Don Osburn's (that's my Dad) album Small Fine Pleasures and it features Dan Whiteley on mandolin.  That's also Dan Whiteley as our Slippery Jack spokesman and we think he did a fine job selling you on this unusual and delicious pickle.  My Mom would also like to thank my aunt Jane for giving her the recipe in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. I made these pickles last fall. Three batches...since the first one was sooo good. Everywhere I take them, they are a hit and I tell the story behimd them :) Jane Buntain


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