Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sweet Mustard Pickles (Or "What do I do with a Giant Zucchini?)

A couple of nights ago, my eldest daughter (13 yrs old) went out for her first babysitting job. She was very excited and feeling very grown up. It's just great watching her maturity and responsibility come through as she is growing up before our eyes. When I dropped her off at the house she was sitting at, I took her inside to chat with the mum. This lovely lady is one I have known through primary school and high school, and now our kids are at primary school together.

As we were talking, the mum said she had something for me. She had won an Easter raffle and sitting in the basket of eggs and chocolates was a giant golden zucchini! She knows that I love to cook and was certain that I would be able to find a use for it. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it; it was enormous and so very heavy!
We put the 30cm ruler in for comparison. It weighed 2.1kg!

When I got home I started looking up recipes of things to make with it. I have become enchanted with Pinterest, so I did some searching on there and came across a couple of recipes. The first one I have just finished making, so it was worthwhile research!

I decided to make Sweet Mustard Pickles as I love relish, chutneys and pickles. I'm not particularly fussy, so long as they are sweet and don't contain anything too spicy like chilli. This recipe I found was from the ABC Tasmania website by Chef Sally Wise. You can find the recipe here. It was super easy, with not too many ingredients. I've never made relish before, so it was a bit of fun. I'm not a fan of slicing all the vegetables by hand, but my mandoline slicer did the job just fine. I was going to use my food processor but the attachment left the pieces too thick for my liking. I was after a really fine slice.

I love how vibrant the colours are.

Once I had sliced the ingredients and placed them all in the bowl, I had to leave them coated in salt for 2 hours to take the excess water out of them. Then it was into my large pot with the sugar, vinegar, and spices.

The next step in the process was cooking it all for 20 minutes before bottling in the jars. This step made me very unpopular with my kids as they said it was very stinky. I tried to convince them that it smelled like Salt & Vinegar Chips but they weren't buying it.

Needless to say, I have to wait patiently for it to cool completely and then I can give it a taste. I got about 6 smallish jars of pickles from the giant zucchini, which is fantastic. I even have some of the zucchini left over to make the other recipe I found - Baked Zucchini Chips. I will let you know how they turn out next time.

Sweet Mustard Pickles