After making a round of not-so-amazing pickles with some small cucumbers I picked up cheap at Sunrise Market, I went in search of real pickling cucumbers on the island. The grocery store didn’t have any, Thrifty Foods in Nanaimo was out, and I didn’t see any at the farmers market. Bummer. Then we happened to pop into the Crofter’s Gleann on the way home one day and they had some still on the vine that they offered to me. I got to check out their growing operation as the 6 pickling cukes I wanted were snipped off the plant. Pretty fresh!
^ Crofter’s Gleann on South Road.
They grow their cucumbers vertically to keep the aisles clear between planting rows, which I thought was neat. One end of the vine is suspended and the cucumbers hang down as they grow. Pretty cool!
^ Fresh cukes!
^ The 6 beauties I grabbed for just a few bucks, and sliced up for pickles right away. They are pretty big, which makes for great sandwich and burger sized pickle rounds.
Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe
6 large pickling cucumbers, sliced (as pictured)
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 cups thinly sliced sweet onion
3 cups granulated white sugar
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Slice cucumbers and toss in a big bowl with the kosher salt, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for an hour. The salt draws out the excess liquid from the cucumbers and makes them extra crunchy. After 1 hour pull them out of the fridge and drain the liquid. Rinse the cucumbers really well with cold water to remove all the salt.
Combine rinsed cucumbers and sliced onions and set aside.
Add all remaining ingredients to a large pot on medium heat and bring to a boil. Ensure all sugar is dissolved.
Sterilize your jars and fill them with the cucumber and onions. Pour the hot liquid over the onions and cucumbers, wipe rims and secure sterilized lids and rings. Submerge in a hot water bath for 10 minutes and set out on a cloth to cool.
I let these sit on my pantry shelf for a little while before I finally cracked into one and they are SOOO good!!! Super crunchy and sweet. Look how giant the slices are!