Here's a rather funny sounding word; "cucurbits"! This word refers to cucurbitaceae, which is the plant family more widely known as melons & gourds!! (Including cucumbers, zuchinni, watermelons, pumpkins etc.) Who knew that?? I sure didn't! This month's 'Can-Jam' was chosen by 'Laudry Etc' .... thanks for the vocabulary lesson!
What a hard choice.... but, it is WAY TOO EARLY for pumpkins (that would have been fun) so that gets crossed off the list. I did find a delicious looking watermelon jelly recipe that I hope to try later in the summer, but for now I have to stick with cucumbers or zuchinni and the hard choice between 'Dill Pickles" (an annual event in our home!), zuchinni relish (also VERY yummy!) or the pickles that we have dubbed "Audrey Pickles"!! The boys' favorite are the dills but Audrey's favorite is the "Crisp Sweet Pickle"!! By default, since we don't have alot of cucumbers yet, the zuchinni wins!
In 1991, we traveled down to Charleston, SC and my mother's wise advice was; "Be sure to always buy a cookbook from the areas that you visit....." While we were checking out the area I found this delightful cookbook called, "Caterin' To Charleston"! It has lots of fun recipes but this one caught my eye and has been a family treasure ever since!
As with EVERY good cook, I make my own changes! The basic change that I've made to this recipe is that instead of slicing the cucumbers or zuchinnis, I use rinds. This way, I use the smaller cucs for dill pickles and the ones that get away from me, I use to make these pickles!! (Rind: peel the cuc or zuc then slice it in half, scoop out the seeds and cut the rest into bite sized chunks) BRAINSTORM: I'd LOVE to try this with recipe watermelon rinds.... I bet that would be amazing!! **NOTE** The lime the recipe calls for is a pickling lime... I've found the "Mrs.Wages" brand in the local feed & seed stores and in larger chains of dept. stores that carry canning supplies!
The second change I made is water bathing!! This recipe doesn't call for water bathing, but from what I've been learning this year.... I now waterbath my pickles for 10 minutes!!
The best thing about these pickles is that they don't need the curing time as dill pickles do!! They are ready to eat immediately! Delicious on your plate or cut up even smaller and added to potato salad!! :)