Recipe Redux | Food in a Jar: Mom’s Refrigerator Pickles

 Mom's Refrigerator Pickles

You’ve come a long way baby! When I was a just a kid mason jars were simply jars grandma used when she canned her garden vegetables. By the time  I turned 20 something, the mason jar had evolved into a  cool way to serve iced tea. Although  I’m now past my prime, these mason jars are still HOT!!!! Beyond both canning jars and drinking mugs, you can find a plethra of  uses for mason jars including recipes for  dinner rolls, layered salads, quick and easy dinner mixes and delicious desserts from cute cupcakes and cobblers to coconut cream pie! This month’s Recipe Redux theme  challenges members to  showcase what we like to make in a jar.

So what do I like to make in a jar? Hmm. Apparently I am a late adopter on this one because, I have nothin’!  Diddly. Squat. Zip. Zippo.  But there is this one recipe that I have been meaning to make all summer long and it just so happens to be made in a jar: Mom’s refrigerator pickles.  How’s that for sweet serendipity?!  Now, although this recipe is in keeping with the mason jar’s  veteran image, don’t let that fool you, these old fashioned pickles are guaranteed to whet your appetite!

I made these pickles a few days before I left for Missouri to visit my son at the Zou. Upon my return, they’ve gotten even better. Sweet, crisp and crunchy, these green gems are  perfect for snacking or adding to a sandwich. My nest may be empty, but my refrigerator is full…. of Mom’s refrigerator pickles. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post (I know I will) where you are sure to find lots of fun, creative foods to make in a jar!

What do you like to make in a jar?

 Mom's Refrigerator Pickles

Mom’s Refrigerator Pickles

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • You will need jars specifically made for canning;  to hold a total of 2 1/2 quarts.

for pickle slices

  • 6 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 4 medium sweet onions (about 3 pounds)

for pickling solution

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups vinegar (5% acetic acid)
  • 1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Instructions

to prepare jars

1 Inspect jars to assure they are free of cracks, chips or uneven rims.

2 Inspect lids and discard any that are bent or warped.

3.Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse and dry the bands. The bands are now ready to use.

4. Heat a pot of water to 180 degrees F and keep the lids submerged in hot water until ready to use.

5. Bring a second large pot of water to a boil. Add jars and allow them to sit in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove jars one at a time with tongs when ready to fill.

to make the pickles

1.Wash cucumbers carefully and trim blossom ends.

2. Slice the cucumbers 1/4 inch thick. Slice onions 1/8 inch thick.

2. Prepare pickling solution by combining sugar, vinegar, salt, celery salt and mustard seed . Mix well until sugar in dissolved. This solution does not have to be heated, but heating will more rapidly dissolve the sugar and pickle the vegetables.

3. Fill sterilized pint or quart jars with thinly sliced cucumbers and onions. Cover with pickling solution, cap jars with clean lids. Label and date, and store in refrigerator at 40 degrees F for up to one month. This pickle is not heat processed and must be kept refrigerated.

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Gazpacho with Avocado

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Disclosure: I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I am reminded that the summer is winding down. Last week my daughter celebrated her last week of living in the crib with her boring parents. Friday she moved into a dorm at UNCW.  My son, a wrestler at the University of Missouri, stays at school year round, but he too is preparing for the start of classes on Aug 19. Yet,  the weather is still hot, the days are still long and I’ m still up for a backyard BBQ!!!  You? Let me help you plan on making the most of summer remains.

Did I mention it’ s California avocado season? Yep, now through September and there’ s no better accompaniment  to summer salads, sandwiches, wraps and grilled foods than fresh avocado. Not only do they improve the flavor of summer foods, they are nutritious! Avocados are a source of healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFA) and studies show these fats improve blood cholesterol levels which can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Research also shows that MUFA can benefit insulin levels and blood glucose control, important if you have type 2 diabetes.  Aside  from healthy fats, one fifth of an avocado  contains 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

I know I  just posted an avocado recipe on Saturday (Chili Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad), but when I like love something, I go hard. So today I’ m sharing yet another awesome recipe that has been inspired by the summer avocado season, a cool appetizer. This gazpacho with fresh avocado is a refreshing start to a meal on a  hot summer night that will delight your guests and keep them eager with anticipation about the spread you’ve prepared. It’s simple and requires no cooking. It’s deliciously crunchy; low in cholesterol; a good source of fiber; and a very good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. (See nutrition profile below). Entertaining should be fun. Keeping it delicious and nutritious is important for everyone; keeping it simple is important for you! Don’t let the summer pass you by without fully enjoying the outdoors and summer’s bounty. Please see the links at the bottom of this post for more delicious and nutritious ways to love avocados this summer!

Nutritional Profile Chilled Gazpacho with Avocado (one serving): 144 calories, 6 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 3.4 grams monounsaturated fat, 0.7 grams polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams cholesterol, 349 mg sodium, 660 mg potassium, total carbohydrate 24 grams, dietary fiber 5 grams, total sugar 15 grams, protein 3 grams, vitamin A 42% DV, vitamin C 41 % DV, calcium 4 % DV, iron 12 % DV, vitamin D ~, folate 47.6 mg, omega 3 fatty acids 43.1 mg

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Chilled Gazpacho with Avocado

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 12 ounces tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup skinless, seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 2 drops hot sauce, or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 2 limes (about 4 Tablespoons)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 whole avocado, divided, chop one half and slice second half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a bowl combine tomato puree, cucumbers, onion, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, carrot, lime juice, sugar, cilantro and salt and pepper. Chili overnight in refrigerator. Stir in diced avocado just before serving and top with additional avocado slices.

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