Growing up, there was always one condiment you could count on to be on the table at every meal. That was Mustard Pickles. It was a family favorite and apparently my grandmother made the best mustard pickles in town.
I wouldn’t know, because I never liked Mustard Pickles. It was just one of the few things my grandmother made that I did not like. The other two were boiled dinner and tomato soup cake.
Why am I sharing a recipe I don’t eat?
Mustard Pickles were a staple in my grandmother’s house. My mother said they were the family’s favorite condiment and without mustard pickles, a meal just wasn’t complete.
My uncles ate mustard pickles on their eggs at breakfast, their sandwiches at lunch and their meat and potatoes at supper. One of my uncles used to joke that he would even eat it on ice cream.
My grandmother kept a pantry full of homemade pickles and preserves in her basement to last the winter. I remember the pantry well. It was filled with all kinds of jars of icicles, bread and butter pickles, raspberry preserves, and what seemed like 100 jars of mustard pickles. She also made mustard pickles for all eight of her children to have at their homes. She probably spent a whole day making these, maybe longer.
I have made this recipe once, with my cousin when I was about 14. It was a fun day even though I never tasted what we had made, the memory will always be there.
A few years ago, after my father passed away, I was cleaning out his house and came across a handwritten recipe. The title was Memere’s Mustard Pickles, and the writing looks very much like my aunt’s. She must have written it out for my mom, but I am sure they knew she would never make them because she was not big on cooking or baking so I couldn’t picture her making homemade pickles. But I am happy to have the recipe even if I don’t like them, it was a family favorite.
I have held onto this recipe for 14 years even though I had no intention of ever making it. But it holds sentimental value for me. It brings back memories of sitting around my grandmother’s table at supper, enjoying a home-cooked meal and anxiously waiting for dessert to see what my grandmother had baked that day.
Today while sorting through recipes, I came across the paper with her recipe written on it. Maybe it was a sign to finally share this recipe, even though I do not like Mustard Pickles, maybe someone else will enjoy this recipe.
Memere's Mustard Pickles
- Large heavy bottomed pot
- Canning Pot
- Clean, sterilized Mason Jars and lids
- 4 quarts cucumbers, chopped
- 1/2 cup coarse salt
- 1 quart onions, chopped
- 5 cups white sugar
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1-1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp pickling spice*
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Add cucumbers, salt, onions, 5 cups white sugar, celery seed, mustard seed, vinegar and pickling spice to a large heavy bottom pot.
- Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mix flour, 1 cup of white sugar and dry mustard.
- After pickles have boiled for 15 minutes, remove from heat and stir in flour mixture.
- Then add turmeric powder.
- Ladle into clean sterilized mason jars. Add lids and seal using boiling method for canning.
- Store jars in cool dry place. Once opened, store in refrigerator.