April 2017: #fijchallenge Quick Pickles

Pickles.
What can I say about pickles?
As a kid I loved the large kosher dills you would get from a barrel, or in a jar.  The tang, the bitter, the cool, and a touch of sweet, combined to be a bit of heaven. My love of pickles continued into adulthood, and then pregnancy.  While I was pregnant with my son, pickles became one of the most awful taste in the world.  Won't eat them on burger, still, and smell can turn my stomach.  I kept trying them but no, the love did, or wouldn't return.  No pickles for me.
Potatoes with pickles a plenty

When I took up this crazy challenge there were a few months I was dreading, pickles is one of them. I don't like, don't eat, and don't like the smell of them. A few years ago I had made a batch of pickles for my husband, but never ate one. Not one bit.  I thought for certain that pickles, the consumption thereof, was going to elude me for life. But we had such a happy childhood together.  How can I reclaim my love of pickles.

Summer quick pickled cucumber and red onion salad.

When I participated in a CSA I was flooded with produce that even I could not consume in a timely manner.  It was heartbreaking to see the beautiful bounty of beans and carrots go to waste.  Even beets, which I love, were wasting away.  I had to do something.  So I learned to can. I learned to pickle the non-cucumber veggies.  I learned that I could once again consume my beloved pickles. They are a little different format, but still they are pickles. Pickles and I have come to a truce. But I still didn't stretch myself in the pickle arena.  I pickled only what I HAD TO. However, I was joyful that I once again had pickles in my life.

When this month in the challenge came up, the quick pickle, I did lots and lots of research.  What makes a pickle a "quick pickle"? What else could I pickle besides cucumber? What types of vinegar do I have to use? Is there more than one type of pickle? And more and more questions arose in my noggin.  I want to succeed in this challenge, to grow, to stretch, and learn all that I can about canning this year.

A peck of pickled padrons - can't keep a enough of them around! 

Then came the time to choose, what do I pickle? What recipe to use? and more and more questions.  In the end I quick pickled red onion, padron peppers, mushrooms, and a a summer cucumber with red onions salad.  I must say, I have added several new favorites to my pantry looking forward to summer when these dishes are even better with the hot days of August and September.

Thank you #fijchallenge!