NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

August 21, 2013

In a pickle

Summer recipes take advantage of fresh cucumbers, corn

I’m really glad we have a good amount of farms in the Newburyport area, because my two gardens have not produced much this year. I planted peas twice; not much came up. My spinach never got more than 2 inches tall, and my radishes, lots of green, but woody and small radishes.

I know it was a weird spring and start of summer, but my biggest disappointment was my meager showing of pickling cucumbers. I think I have an addiction problem because I eat probably six to seven of them a day, not including pickles with my sandwich for lunch and then cukes on my salad at dinner.

I’m lucky that my job takes me over the area in the course of the day so I can pop into Tendercrop Farm in Newbury or Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury for my fill of the crunchy green gourd, botanically speaking. I love half-sour pickles and have bought some over the years at the local supermarkets, Ba-Tampte or Nathan’s brand. I like them when they have the bright, clean shade of green and before they turn an olive color.

So instead of waiting for them to come in fresh, I’ve decided to make my own. They’re real easy, and I usually have two batches going to assure I don’t run out.

Half-Sour Pickles

Someone once mentioned that these aren’t really pickles, just cucumbers that have been threatened. These aren’t meant to be processed by hot water bath and jarred, they’re meant to be eaten fresh and will last two or three weeks in the fridge. Make sure you use pure salt, sold as pickling salt. Some sea salts may be all right, if there are no additives, like iodine, which can discolor the pickles.

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