Showing posts with label pickles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pickles. Show all posts

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guest post -- Piper Lamb's Freezer Pickles

Meet Piper Lamb from the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries

by Mary Ellen Hughes

I’m excited to be a guest on Mystery Lover’s Kitchen to share one of my pickling recipes! Writing a Pickled and Preserved mystery series means I’ve tried a great variety of recipes that my character, Piper Lamb, cooks up in the back kitchen of her pickling shop. Piper absolutely loves pickling, which is why she left her hum-drum job (and an ex-fiancé) in Albany to set up a shop in Cloverdale, NY.

I don’t have as much time to make pickles and preserves as Piper does, what with having to write about Piper’s murder-investigating adventures, so my favorite pickles are these quick and easy – and wonderfully tasty—freezer pickles.

I put up bunches of them in August, when my husband’s vegetable garden is overflowing. But cucumbers are also available in the supermarkets at all times of the year. There’s no cooking or canning required, and the pickles last in the freezer for months. When they’ve been defrosted and are refrigerated, they’ll be good for at least three weeks—if they last that long!


8 cups sliced cucumbers
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pickling or kosher salt
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seeds

 Wash and slice the cucumbers. Stir in the sliced onions, then sprinkle with pickling salt. Mix well, cover, and let stand for 3 hours. Rinse the cucumbers and onions well, and drain thoroughly.

Combine sugar, vinegar, and celery seeds, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, mix and cover, then refrigerate overnight.

Spoon the cucumbers and onions into straight-sided containers and cover with brine, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Seal and freeze. When ready to defrost, do so in the refrigerator for eight hours.


Piper Lamb knows how to make fruits and vegetables keep for months. Unfortunately, it’s the people around her who are expiring too soon…

After her fiancé left her, Piper came to Cloverdale to rebuild her life and open up her shop, Piper’s Picklings, to sell pickles and preserves. When her ex decides to drop in for a visit—just as things are heating up between her and a local Christmas tree farmer—Piper finds herself in a jam.

But there are other visitors to worry about…

An Italian soccer team is set to play the Cloverdale All-Stars in an exhibition game. Their manager, Raffaele Conti, was a bitter rival of Piper’s dill supplier, local farmer Gerald Standley. After Conti is found dead in Standley’s field, Piper must work to clear Gerald’s name and find out who relished killing Raffaele before the town is soured by another death.

About Mary Ellen:

Mary Ellen Hughes is the author of the Pickled and Preserved Mystery Series, which began with THE PICKLED PIPER and continues with LICENSE TO DILL. A third book, SCENE OF THE BRINE, will be released by Berkley Prime Crime in January, 2016.

She has also authored the Craft Corner Mysteries and the Maggie Olenski, Math Teacher Mysteries. Mary Ellen lives in Maryland with her husband and is happy to have time to spend on her writing after having raised two wonderful children and several delightful cats. (The cats were easier.)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hot Pepper Jelly Cheese Puffs @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE:  I have a new obsession in Key West--this is hot pepper jelly made by the Pickle Baron, a local company here on the island. They also make bacon jam (bacon jam!!), and all kinds of pickles.
one of the Pickle Barons

John and I put the jelly on our sandwiches all week--it has just the right smoky heat to raise cold cuts to the next level. Then I remembered of my favorite hors d'oeuvre--a recipe for hot pepper jelly cheese puffs that I got years ago from my good friend Cathy Crook. 

These puffs are positively decadent and delicious. There's one drawback: They look like little thumbprint jam cookies so it takes a while for the party guests to catch on that you're talking cheese, not sugar. Once a few people taste them, however, word spreads like wildfire and the plate will be snatched clean. So gobble a couple before you put them out.



1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup flour
Hot pepper jelly

Mix the first 3 ingredients until they hold together in a ball--either by hand or using food processor. Wrap in parchment paper or Saran wrap and chill 1/2 hour. 

Roll into small balls (no bigger than an inch thick.) Bake at 400 degrees for five minutes. Remove them from the oven and make depressions in the top of the puffs with the back of a spoon.

Fill with Pickle Baron's Habanero hot pepper jelly (or other jelly, or mild pepper jelly if you can't take the heat.) 

Return puffs to the oven and bake until golden. (5-7 more minutes.) 

 And watch them disappear off the plate!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries:


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Let's get pickled!

My mother always used to make bread
butter pickles with the cucumbers
our garden when I was a kid.
To this day, the
taste of bread and
butter pickles is the taste of

Needless to say, I was pickled...I
tickled when my friend Lynn
over a jar from a batch she
had made from
cucumbers she'd bought
at our local farmer's market. They were delicious and she happily shared her recipe, which I checked against an old recipe card of my grandmother's (who taught my mom) and they are the same.

And so I share them with you! I am hoping to
hit the farmer's market next week and if the cucumbers are still in, I think I'll do some pickling myself!

Bread and
Butter Pickles
6 qts, sliced cucumbers
1 qt sliced
4 large sweet peppers, diced

1 cup pickling salt poured over mixture

(you can also use Kosher salt)
1 - 2 inches of ice on top of vegetables,
for 4 hours

In a large pot, mix together

6 cups white vinegar

6 cups sugar

1 tspn mustard seed

1 tspn celery seed
1 tbspn tumeric seed

Bring just to a boil.

Thoroughly rinse cucumbers, onions and peppers from ice and salt and add to the mixture on the stove, bring just to a boil again.

In another pot, boil 8 large canning jars and their lids to sterilize. Keep the jars hot while canning, take them out of the water only when ready to add pickle mixture. Once the sugar vinegar solution has come to a boil, use a slotted spoon to fill the hot jars with the cucumbers.

Pack the jars to an inch
from the rim with the
vegetables. Then pour the hot pickling syrup
to a half inch from the rim. Wipe the rim clean.
Place a sterilized lid on
the jar. Secure with a
metal screw band.

If you are planning to store pickles outside of the refrigerator, they will need a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Return filled jars to the same canning pot with its already hot water. Water level should be one inch above the top of the cans. Bring to a boil and let boil hard for 15 minutes. Remove jars from pot. Let cool down to room temperature. Jars should make a popping sound as their lids seal. If a lid doesn't seal properly, it must be stored in the refrigerator



Quite a pickle, isn't it?
Okay, I'll stop now...;-)