Adam and I arrived at the allotment on Friday to discover our didactic cucumber had burgeoned to monstrous proportions, as we still have half of it's sibling in the fridge I knew we'd struggle to get through this one so I decided to turn it into a pickle.
I turned once more to my Norfolk WI booklet 'Jams and Preserves Old and New' from whence my acclaimed Courgette Pickle came and it came up trumps once more with this surprisingly flavoursome pickle. This is the recipe exactly as it is in the book:
Sweet Cucumber Pickle
3 large cucumbers
3 large onions
2 green peppers
1 pint white wine vinegar
1lb soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Peel the cucumbers and cut into 'finger' sized pieces. Slice the onions and peppers finely. Mix the vegetables with the salt and leave to stand for 3 hours. Drain, and rinse very well.
Bring all the other ingredients to the boil, add the vegetables and simmer for 2 minutes (no longer, or the cucumber will be too limp) Pack into sterilised jars and leave for a month to mature before eating.
I reduced the quantities given as I guessed my monster cucumber was probably roughly equivalent to 2 standard cucumbers and so reduced the other ingredients by a third too. This yielded about 4lbs of finished pickle.
I tasted a little in it's pre-matured state and was very surprised at the punch the seasoning packs, it's an amazingly strong flavour though I have to admit I don't think I rinsed my vegetables well enough as it's still on the salty side.
On an entirely unrelated matter, we had a lovely family walk today the highlight of which was the discovery of several new foraging spots. We found more cherry plums, a walnut tree, 2 pear trees and a new quince tree! I think 1st August should go down in Norfolk Kitchen history. Fingers crossed for tomorrow too as Adam is hoping to forage our first ever Mulberries. I think 2010 is going to be a good year for foraging even if the allotment is a bit of a damp squid, errrr, squib.