Pickled Cucs.jpeg

I really “struck” out this time! It seems no one knows this term for pickling cukes other than my brother and moi! In my research, I could only find a reference to the fact that cucumbers have a “strike” against them because they are 96% water…maybe this method of preparation adds flavor to what could be called a bland taste? So, I guess it is my mother who coined the phrase.

Cucumbers are so plentiful this time of year. If you have a friend with a garden or can be patient at the farmer’s market, pick out the smallest ones available. Pickling is an excellent method to preserve them and have on hand as a condiment for vegetables. My family served pickled cucumbers consistently throughout the summer months.

1 pint jar
4 small cucumbers
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Vinegar, distilled white 
Sweet pickle juice (I use Mt. Olive Sweet ’N’ Hot Salad Peppers)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 bay leaf
Dash of salt
Sweetener (my mom used 1-2 saccharin tablets, I use 1-2 scoops of stevia extract; or you could substitute 3-6 drops of agave nectar)

Peel the cucumbers (I leave stripes of dark green for color) and cut into slices. In a pint jar, layer the cukes and red onion slices, leaving about an one half inch at the top. Add bay leaf, mustard and celery seeds, dash of salt and sweetener. Pour vinegar to cover three fourths of the cucumbers, then add sweet pickle juice the rest of the way. Shake to combine. Taste, and add more sweetener if necessary. Chill at least 4 hours…the longer the better. It is easy to double the recipe and store in a quart jar. Juice can be used again, but I suggest pour 1/2 out, and replenish with extra vinegar and sweet pickle juice. So easy!