Mother Mabel’s Mustard Pickles

When we were kids my siblings and I were the recipients of many a tasty treat that our mother so lovingly made for us, including her family tradition of putting up a wide variety of pickles. And one of those varieties was my favorite..mustard pickles.

Using homegrown cukes, my sister Linda and I would watch her make these tangy family favorites in an old stoneware pickle crock which would then be placed on a shelf in the cellar. Along with this easily reachable placement would come her “stern” warning not to get into them.

“Of course not Mom, we wouldn’t think of it..”

Fast forward a few days..with Mom’s back turned..Linda and I are tiptoeing down the cellar stairs. Reaching all the way to the bottom of the big crock, up past our elbows in pickle juice, we are soon on the last step enjoying our treats. In a few minutes Mom would open the cellar door and shoo us up out of there, her two youngest children with pickle brine up to their armpits.

“We sure fooled her. Didn’t we Linda?”

Mom is gone now but her recipe remains…

12 oz Mason Jar.. Pickling cukes.. 4 Tbls sugar..1 Tbl dry mustard.. 1 Tsp salt..cider vinegar and water. Cut cukes down the middle and then those spears in half, if they are too long, to fit into the jar..Pack jar with cukes.. Add 1/2 jar of cider vinegar and 1/2 jar water..Then add the dry ingredients..Shake  thoroughly..

And it’s very important to shake the jar at least a couple times a day for the first 3 days while they are setting up in the frig. If you don’t the dry ingredients will settle and you’ll get more a vinegar flavor than mustard flavor. Of course you can adjust the amount of mustard and sugar if you want more or less..Keep the pickles chilled..Much snappier that way..

Once they are set, 3 to 4 days..accompany them with some extra sharp cheese and a brew of your choice..