Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quick Low Salt Pickles



A man walked into the Market at Oakwood. . .

This is the classic "bit of everything you need" stop on the south shore of Clear Lake, Iowa. Craig, Sharron, John, and I were discussing the merits of the newly installed roller hot dog machine and, importantly the kinds of toppings we loved on our dogs. The gentleman, who had come in for a five-pound bag of ice, said, "You must have a good heart to be able to eat dill pickles. Too much sodium for me."

I don't have heart trouble, but I am salt sensitive and try to avoid it. Sweet pickles are ok, But there is something about a sharp and tangy dill that sets off a sandwich or a dog. These quickly made cucumber slices come pretty darn close.

I hope you enjoy them "ice man."

Quick Cucumber Pickle
(serves 7 to 8)

1 large cucumber (or use 2 cucumbers and leave out onions)
2 medium onions
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional !

Other seasonings you may add by sprinkling on the cucumbers before adding the boiling liquid include: dill weed or seeds, celery seeds, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
Seasonings to add to the sugar before adding the vinegar and heating include: non-sodium pickling spices and/or dry mustard

Select a cucumber that has not been coated with wax and scrub it well. Slice cucumber and onion as thinly as possible and put into a heatproof bowl. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar as you bring it to a boil over medium heat. Pour the boiling mixture over the cucumber and onions. Add salt if desired. Let stand until room temperature, stirring from time to time. Cover and put in refrigerator. Keeps for several days