Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Mississippi has been having some great weather lately. I have been enjoying every minute of it,
whether it is setting up a table and enjoying my lunch outside or planting a potted herb and vegetable garden. This year I am trying to turn my brown thumb into a green one ha ha! I decided to plant my vegetable and herb plants in pots. I like to be able to move the plants around my yard if I need to. Our backyard has spots that are sunnier than others.
One garden fresh vegetable I love is tomatoes. I have planted red and yellow tomatoes and cherry tomatoes as well. In the summer a fresh tomato sandwich with a little mayo, salt, and pepper is simple but so delicious. I also love a good BLT. 
In the South, a vegetable that is easy to grow is squash. Squash also grows bountifully. I am always trying to come up with recipes using squash. My grandmother gave me her recipe for squash pickles. I had not heard of anything like it. I decided I would take her recipe and make it my own. I use cane sugar which is better for you than granulated sugar because it is unrefined meaning it contains essential nutrients and minerals.
You will love my recipe for squash pickles and want to make and serve it all spring and summer long.

Squash Pickles

About 4 cups sliced small yellow squash
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup cane sugar
¼ tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed

Layer squash and onion slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt over vegetables and let stand for 1 hour. Place vegetables in a colander. Lightly rinse and drain.  Then place vegetables onto a layer of paper towels. Pat dry.

In a medium saucepot over medium heat, add vinegar and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add seasoning. Add squash and onions.

Bring vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool on counter for 1 hour.

Spoon into mason jars and refrigerate.

Serve squash pickles with your favorite sandwich.