…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? Did you know that a form of pickles got their start in India over 4000 years ago and slowly made their way to the Middle East, Europe, and eventually North America? Ancient Mesopotamians began soaking cucumbers in acidic brine as a way to preserve them. Since then, they have been a staple in cultures around the globe, renowned for their heartiness, health benefits and delicious taste.
While pickles are ubiquitous in American styles of food, they didn't really reach our shores until the late 1800s to early 1900s. European Jews, many of whom settled in New York, brought the tasty snack with them. In New York, kosher pickles became popular in Jewish communities and delis and quickly spread from there.
At the end of summer during the Great Depression the excess cucumber crop was sliced, salted, pickled and put up in jars for the cold, lean months ahead. Times were so lean during the Depression one can only imagine what a treat it was to fill a sandwich with these sweet crunchy coins (bread and butter pickles, as they came to be known).
My Bread and Butter Sweet Pickles have plenty of sugar for sweetness, as well as mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, peppercorns, and garlic… a jar filled with flavor frills.
While some people are intimidated by the thought of “pickling” or “canning”, pickles are really easy to make and healthy, too—fermented pickles are a good source of healthful probiotics. Probiotics protect the bacteria in your gut. Having healthy gut bacteria can minimize symptoms of an irritable bowel and it can help us digest food and absorb nutrients. Oh, by the way, most recipes are low in calories.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 2 to 4 hours
1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced
2 red jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced into rings
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced into coins or long quarters
2 cloves garlic, thin sliced
2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
ChefSecret: You don’t have to boil the pickles and the brine if you are going to eat them fresh within 6 weeks. If you want kosher dill pickles, add pickling spice to the brine without the sugar.
Quip of the Day: I said to the woman at the deli, “I’d like to buy a couple of corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, with pickles.” She replied, “Sorry..."We only take cash or credit cards.”
Do you have a question or comment? Send your favorite recipes, pictures or thoughts to email@example.com. Recipes and cooking tips are posted on our website https://www.perspectives-la.com/covid-19-survival-guide.
To you and everyone dear to you, be strong, be positive, stay well, stay safe and be kind. Take a breath and count your blessings, and if you have a little extra to share with others, please consider donating to Feeding America and/or American Red Cross.
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