A Dutch Grandmother’s Mustard Pickle Recipe

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ROM-AUG2016-ADutchGrandmothersMustardPickles

Kitchen Manager Leslie shares her most treasured family recipe with us today.

Trips to my Grandmother’s  little brown Bown house (no, I did not forget the “r” in the last name) are a favorite childhood summer memory. I loved to wander down her garden path and throw open the creaky doors of the cedar canning cupboard where she stashed all of her preserves, breathing in the damp, woodsy aroma and admiring the jewel tones of her beautiful jams and jellies. Today the whooshing sound of a sealed jar opening up still brings back the smell that wafted out of the jar of her mustard pickles, the pungent aroma quickly permeating every corner of her tiny 750 square foot home. I loved to cook alongside Gram, her pulling up the little white stool or her weathered deacon’s bench to the counter so I could reach, especially when it was time to scrape out  the little “tasting” she always left for me at the bottom of the pot. That stool and this family recipe, sure to be passed down through the generations of my family, are my most treasured possessions of my beloved Gram.  

Sunday Roast beef dinner at Gram’s house was not complete unless these mustard pickles were served alongside.

Ingredients

2 pounds small pickling cucumbers, cut into slices or chunks

8 cups pearl onions, peeled

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

4 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 cup coarse salt

2 cups water

1 cup all-purpose flour (I like to use 1 c. corn starch instead, mixed with just enough water to create a smooth slurry, as this helps to avoid any clumps)

6 tablespoons dry mustard powder

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon ground dried turmeric

8 cups apple cider vinegar – I love to use Bragg’s

Method

In a large bowl combine the chopped cucumbers, cauliflower, red peppers and peeled onions.

In another bowl mix together the salt and water and pour over veggies, making sure they are all covered in the brine.  I cover them with a tea towel, and then put a dinner plate on top so that they stay submerged.  Let stand overnight at room temperature.  

Sterilize five 1 quart jars with lids and rings in a water bath (save the warm water bath for later,  you will need it)

Transfer the vegetables and brine to a large pot and set over medium heat. Bring just to a simmer, but remove from the heat before they come to a boil. Pour into a colander and drain thoroughly.

Dry out the large pot and stir together the flour, mustard powder, sugar and turmeric. Stir in just enough apple cider vinegar to make a smooth paste, then stir in the remaining vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and boil until thick and creamy, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the vegetables and simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender about 5-10 minutes.  Avoid overcooking the veggies as you don’t want them to turn to mush.

Pack into hot 1 quart jars, filling to 1/2 inch of the rim and wiping off the rims with a clean, damp cloth. Seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath of simmering water for 10 minutes,  remove from water and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly and consume within two weeks.