Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grandma Hulda's Sweet Dills


GRANDMA HULDA'S SWEET DILL PICKLES

these are a year 'round staple in our fridge...
always has been, always will be a big barrel jar of Grandma's sweet pickles in the back of the fridge.  sometimes i swear at them as i maneuver around that big glass jar to squeeze something new in, but i wouldn't remove them if my life counted on it...or rather if i counted on staying alive through the night.

Grandma Hulda wasn't what you would call a gourmet cook by any means, but she knew how to throw down a few special things...

these pickles are one of those special things 
and i have yet to meet their match in the pickle world.


i must admit, the idea for this post came about quite a few weeks ago.  it originally was to be all about the last surviving chunk of Easter ham and my fabulous low fat Ham Salad...BUT then...out came the pickles from the back of the fridge for the photo shoot.  as i was shooting a big light bulb went on and i  said...
"ham salad = boring"...
"Grandma's Pickles?...everybody loves pickles AND everybody loves something from Grandma."

hence the recipe for the easiest bestest crunchy sweet pickle ever!
they need to be in the back of your fridge on the ever-ready just for that extra little crunch for your salad, sandwich or burger.


pack a cute little jar of your favorite spreadable salad like ham, tuna or chicken and serve with your pickles.  put them along with your cheese platter, hors d'oeuvres or condiments...or...top off with a layer of chopped sweet pickles for a tasty on the go treat.  great for picnics  or just your everyday brown bag lunch.


GRANDMA HULDA'S SWEET PICKLES

what you'll need...

1 46 ounce store bought jar of Hamburger Dill pickles...crinkle cut
3 cups of white sugar
2 Tblsp pickling spice
2 Tblsp apple cider vinegar

drain the juice from the pickles and put them in a large bowl...save the jar, toss the store bought juice.
add the sugar, spices and vinegar to the pickles and stir to combine.
let this sit on the counter for at least an hour, maybe 2, so the pickles can weep out their juices and the sugar dissolves.  you can stir them a few times during the weeping.
put the pickles and all the new juices back in the jar and in the fridge...let set at least 3 days before using.

i must add that these pickles are best over time...and i mean time because after the first batch is gone, you need to save about a cup of the old juice and add it to the new batch.  after the pickles have done their weeping add a little of the juice from the previous batch to cover the pickles.  you might not need the full cup, but it's kinda fun to keep the juice as an on going flavor addition...
not a totally necessary step, but it's how Grandma Hulda did it and i wouldn't change a thing about these pickles.

they're just perfect as is...Grandma Hulda's way.


PS...as for the lower cal Ham Salad?...
try using cottage cheese instead of mayonnaise.
put the cottage cheese in the processor and blend to smooth.
then add chopped ham and just a few chopped pickles.
pulse to a spreadable texture.  don't over process.
season to taste.

you won't miss the mayonnaise if you take care in the seasoning with salt and pepper.  the pickles add just the right sweet/tart flavor...enjoy

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