Our RV Recipe this week is lip-smacking good Bread and Butter Pickles! But let's start with a tongue-twister:
We all know the saying ‘Peter Piper picked a pack of pickled peppers… and could likely guess how many packs of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked…. but was Peter Piper making his own jar of homemade pickled cucumber pickles while adventure camping in his RV?
Fun Facts About Pickles
- Pickles have been around since ancient times, although there is some disagreement as to when exactly in history people started eating them. Some believe the first pickle was created in Mesopotamia in 2400 B.C.E. Others believe it was as early as 2030 B.C.E.
- Pickles are mentioned in the Bible and can be found in the works of Shakespeare.
- Cleopatra ate pickles because she believed they were one of the things that helped her stay beautiful.
- Explorers like Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci used pickles to help prevent scurvy amongst the crews of their ships.
- Napoleon offered a huge financial prize to anyone who could find the best way to used pickling to preserve food for his troops.
- H.J. Heinz used pins shaped like pickles to draw customers to his booth at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.
- The U.S. government commandeered 40% of all pickles made in the U.S. during WWII so that they could be used in rations for the soldiers.
Passionate about Pickles
- Several famous people throughout history are reported to have been or to be pickle fans including Queen Elizabeth 1, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.
- Elvis Presley loved fried pickles.
- George Washington was such a fan that he had a collection of more than 400 varieties of pickles.
- Americans love pickles so much that more than half of the cucumbers grown in the U.S. each year become pickles.
- Kool-aid pickles are made by soaking dill pickles in strong kool-aid and are very popular in parts of Mississippi.
- A town in Michigan that claims to be the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World holds an annual pickle parade led by the Grand Dillmeister.
- You can hear the crunch of a good pickle at 10 paces.
- In early times, people believed that pickles were essential to good health and helped to maintain the right balance of acid in the body.
Pickles Around the World
- Americans love dill pickles twice as much as their sweet counterparts and an average American eats more than 8 pounds of pickles a year.
- Throughout the islands of the Pacific, pickles are an important part of the culture. They are created using pits dug into the ground that are lined with banana leaves
- In Fiji, pickles are part of the courting process as pickle pits (dug into the ground) provide a valuable source of food in the event of a storm. Men use their pickle pits to prove they have the means to provide for a wife.
- In America and Canada, people prefer pickles with bumps and warts to those that are made from wartless cucumbers.
- Although most people consider pickles a vegetable because they are made from cucumbers, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they are technically a fruit, similar to tomatoes.
- In the U.S., pickles are made in 30 of the 50 states with Michigan and North Carolina making the most pickles.
Pickle fun facts and photo above from Fill your Plate 2011
Notes from Chef MJ
Amazingly, it is rather easy to make refrigerator pickles and avoid the canning process that is typical to preserving.
It's not likely that you are making your very own pickles while you are on an RV adventure however you may change your mind or consider making some after you read on and see how easily you can do this and the tasty quality results that can be readily achieved. Follow along with this simple recipe if you have a microwave available to you in your rig or at the campground…
You most certainly can make some simple gourmet pickles with just the pickle juice that remains in the jar after you have consumed the pickles in the store bought jar of pickles you had on hand.
Feel free to spice these pickles up a bit more by adding some red pepper flakes or a jalapeno to the ingredient list. If you want more of a tang… add a little more apple cider or white vinegar.
Simple Recipe for making tasty Bread and Butter Pickles in your RV
2 organic cucumbers
1 jar bread and butter pickle juice
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Here's a video on how I make this RV Recipe of Bread and Butter Pickles in our RV:
Don't fret when you pull the last pickle from the jar!
If you are boondocking far from the nearest grocery store, staying overnight at a Farm Stand Harvest Host or happen to have a cucumber or 2 onboard your rig, follow the recipe below and you'll have some lovely pickles again.
- Hold onto the jar with the remaining pickle juice. Place the juice jar in the fridge until you are ready to pickle some cucumbers.
- When you are ready to make pickles, rinse the cucumber(s) under clean cool water.
- Cut and discard the ends from the cucumbers as they can change the taste of the pickles due to an enzyme found in the ends of the cucumber!
- Slice the cucumber(s) in 1/4″ slices and place them in 1 – 2 layers in a small Pyrex casserole dish.
- Pour the pickle juice from the store bought pickle jar (that no longer has pickles) over the cucumbers.
- If adding other seasoning ingredients – add them now.
- Place the Pyrex dish with the cucumbers and juice in the microwave.
- Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes. Open the microwave, stir the ingredients.
- Repeat the 3 minute microwave then stir process for 2 additional times; then remove form the microwave.
- Let the cucumbers come to room temperature. Using tongs pack the pickle jar tightly with the cucumbers and pour the pickle juice into the jar.
- Refrigerate and enjoy over the next week to few weeks or up to 6 months.