Friday, July 4, 2008

If those are a Jar of Mustard Pickles, then this must be Heaven!

One of my favorite geneabloggers, Janice Brown of “Cow Hampshire” wrote a cute piece the other day entitled, You say Catsup, I say Ketchup. (For the record, I say ketchup but write it catsup.) In it she talked about the origins of catsup, how it wasn’t always made with tomatoes and she closed her post with a recipe from The Farmer’s Cabinet of Amherst, New Hampshire, published in 1852.

Janice’s piece had me going down memory lane. As a child, I can remember my grandmother making delicious homemade catsup. That got me to thinking about all the other goodies that grandma used to make. My favorite was her mustard pickles.

A few years ago, my mother and I went through Grandma’s old recipes looking for the mustard pickle one. We would examine each recipe, and then reject it as we remembered some key ingredient that was missing.

Now you have to understand that it had been three decades or longer since we had tasted this wonderful recipe, so we were straining some dormant taste buds to recall exactly what was in her famous mixture. And so it went, the two of us coming up with a variety of entries in the mustard pickle sweepstakes.

Finally, we found one that we both agreed was probably the one grandma used to make her wonderful concoction. I don’t why we were in such a hot sweat to find it – neither of us can. In any event, below is her recipe – she called it Mixed Pickles Recipe. I call it:

Grandma’s Mixed (Mustard) Pickles Recipe

1 quart small pickles

1 quart pickles cut in chunks

1 quart big lima beans

1 quart carrots cut in chunks

1 quart string beans

1 quart small white onions

1 quart green tomatoes

6 red mangoes (grandma referred to peppers as mangoes)

6 green mangoes (peppers)

2 head of cauliflower

1 bunch celery

Boil each separately in salt water until tender, except pickles and tomatoes. Let them stand in salt water, drain them, then make a dressing of the following:

2 quart vinegar

1 cup prepared mustard

1 T tumeric powder

1 cup flour

2 lb brown sugar

1 tsp celery seeds

1 tsp mustard seed

Let vinegar came to boil add the flour, turmeric made into a paste. Add the rest of the ingredients. Let come to a boil. Add the vegetables that have been cooked then add pickles; tomatoes let all come to a boil. Can while hot.

When I die, I will know I’ve gotten into heaven, if when I open my eyes my grandmother, Anna, is standing there with a jar of mustard pickles, and there’s a fork and a plate with my name on it sitting near by.

Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Update: I've submitted this post for Bill West's Geneablogger's Picnic. I'm bringing the Mustard Pickles. Yummy! I can't wait to see what everybody is bringing!

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