Crisp Squash Pickles

I’ve a elderly home health client who has been a huge help to me in my canning and gardening experience through the past few yrs.  She raves about this recipe and more than once has brought it up this past few weeks.  I think she was hinting that I make some; so I did.

I don’t think it’s in me to make any recipe as is. 

I had both zucchini and yellow squash so I decided to make two different kinds.  For the zucchini I used yellow onion and with the squash I used purple onions; staying with the exact spices per the recipe for both.    
After reading the recipe I decided that I didn’t want the layered squash mixture with ice cubes on top to sit in water for three hours.   All of the recipes, I’ve made, that call for salt on squash & onions ask you to place them in a large strainer to drain.    I sliced both squashes and onions, layered them in two different strainers; sprinkling some salt on each layer.  I placed ice cubes on top.  Personally I don’t see why you’d use the ice cubes at all.

Three hours pass and it’s rinse time.  Rinse the squash and onions with cold water; throughly.  While these drain for a minute I prepared the vinegar mixture in a large pot.  I prefer to use a enamel lined pot.  I wanted to stick to the recipe as much as possible but I just couldn’t handle 3 c. of sugar (tooo sweet) so I opted to use 2 cups.  I kept to the correct amounts of spices though a warning here; turmeric can and will stain your pot, wooden spoon, counter top, towels, stove, your hands, and more a lovely yellow.  It can be removed with bleach or a soft-scrub with bleach in it.

Now the dance begins.  I added the zucchini and onions to the vinegar mixture; reserving the yellow squash & purple onions for the next batch.  Placed the lids in a pan of water on the stove to warm.  Added water to the boiling water bath (tall) pan.  On a towel by the stove I placed the tongs (for removing lids from the hot water), the canning funnel, jar rings and lined up the jars.  By now the zucchini was ready to place in the jars, lid and place in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.  Be sure to remove after 5 minutes or it will cause the mixture to start cooking in the jars.

I had a some vinegar mixture left in the pot  so I guess-ta-mated and added more vinegar and spices.  I placed the yellow squash & purple onions in and repeated the canning procedure.

The recipe says it makes 6 pints, but I ended up with 4 zucchini and then 3 of the yellow squash. 

I can’t tell you how it tastes for another 3 months.  The time between canning and opening is not a set thing.  I just like to wait 3 months; guess you could open eariler, but I like to think of pickling like making wine; it needs to sit.

Crisp Squash Pickles
Marjorie Plunkett (Cooperative Extension Service)

5 lb. squash, thinly sliced
3 med. onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. salt
Ice Cubes
3 c. vinegar
3 c. sugar
2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine onion, squash and salt in bowl.  Top with layer of ice cubes.  Cover, let stand 3 hours. 
Drain and wash squash in cold water.  Combine squash mixture with remaining ingredients in a large kettle.
Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 2  minutes.  Ladle into jars; seal.  Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
Makes 6 pts.

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