I like to cook and I like to eat. I have a particular fondness for cheesecake, but I also enjoy a good pickle. We have plenty of cucumbers just now, so yesterday I made a batch of Bread and Butter Pickles
- 1.5kg telegraph cucumbers
- 1/2 kg onions (brown or white)
- 2 T salt (either plain or sea salt)
- 1 litre cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 5 or 6 300ml jars with good lids
Slice the unpeeled cucumbers into 2mm thick slices . This is most easily done with a food processor, unless you have ninja knife skills - which I don't! Peel and halve the onions, then slice thinly.
Layer the vegetables in a collander, sprinkling the salt between layers. Sit the collander over a bowl and leave to drain for at least three hours. Rinse the vegetables under cold water and drain. Rinse and drain again.
Wash both jars and lids in hot water. Rinse, then place in a low for 20-30 minutes.
To make the pickling liquid place the vinegar, sugar and spices in large saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil while stirring. Once the vinegar mixture has come to the boil add the well-drained vegetables. Bring back to the boil while stirring. Turn off the heat.
Take the jars out of the oven. I usually put an old tea towel under the jars to stop them slipping on the bench, plus it makes for an easier clean-up. Using slotted spoon or tongs lift the vegetables out of the saucepan and into the jars. Then fill the jars to the top with the hot pickling liquid making sure that the vegetables are covered. Use a skewer to remove any air bubbles. Screw on the lids. Once cold label and store in a cool, dark place. The pickles can be eaten straight away, but they improve over time and keep well.