Monday, 10 March 2014

Joy's Pickles

Yesterday I took a break from preserving and stitching and went to have a delicious morning tea with my friends James and Joyce. As we were sitting around chatting the subject of preserving came up. Memories of family and friends are often associated with food and for James, his mother's pickles are special.  A couple of years ago James gave me a copy of his mother's recipe for Mustard Pickles, I have only made them once but they were delicious.  I was down to my last jar and luckily, have been given another made by Joyce - they should last for awhile as I am the only pickles eater in the family.

For lunch today, Joy's pickles with a cheese and tomato roll, equally delicious with ham or cold roast meat.

It is an honour to be entrusted with a family recipe and have permission to share it with you. I have included a photo of the original recipe and  rewritten it to suit metric measurements. It is interesting to reflect on recipes from years ago, particularly those handwritten ones  - they assume a knowledge and experience of cooking not seen in modern cookery books. The original recipe is in imperial measurements which can be easily converted by substituting 500g for a lb and 1 litre for a quart, tabs means tablespoon. The recipe also refers to removing from the fire, read this as remove from the heat.

The recipe makes a lot of pickles as once again cooking and life styles have changed significantly from the times when people 'put up' foods for use at a later stage. I have put reduced amounts of ingredients (in brackets) for a smaller batch.

Joy’s Mustard Pickles
Step 1
1.5 (500g)kg green tomatoes, thinly sliced
1.5kg (500g)onions, finely diced
750 g (250g)beans, cut into small pieces
750 g (250g)cauliflower, cut into small florets/pieces
500 g (150g)salt
Slice/cut up vegetables into very small pieces.
Make a brine of salt and 4 litres (1.25) of water.
Put vegetables into brine and allow to stand for 24 hours.
Step 2
3 (1)cups sugar
1 (1/3)cup golden syrup
2 litres (2 1/2cups) vinegar
Put vegetables and brine onto to cook and bring to boiling point, remove from heat and strain.
Using a large saucepan put sugar, syrup and vinegar on to boil. When boiling add the vegetables, stir and simmer.
Step 3
1 1/2 cups (1/2 cup) flour
4 (1 1/2)tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons (3 teaspoons) turmeric
2 tablespoons (3 teaspoons)curry powder
Combine the above ingredients with enough water to make a thin paste.
Add paste to vegetable mixture, stir well as the mixture will thicken. Continue to boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Pour into clean sterilised jars, seal with wax*

*The original recipe states with wax. Paraffin wax/ preserving wax can be purchased. It needs to be melted and then poured gently over the preserves. It creates an airtight barrier on the pickles. I do not bother with this. I use Kleerview covers and the lids of the jars.

1 comment:

  1. Joy’s pickles are indeed delicious. I am not sure from where the original recipe evolved but Joy stamped her own style on its making and for decades it was simply known as “Joy’s Pickles”. Joy was one of the non-indigenous stolen generations and spent most of her childhood in an orphanage. She was “released” to her own devices at the age 14 an unable to cook much of anything. In time, cooking and preserving ultimately became one of the skills for which she became well known. Not unlike the author of this blog, Joy was also well known for her skills of knitting, dressmaking and raising her quite extensive vegetable garden. Joy died over 20 years ago but I know she would be thrilled with the thought of the Internet and “her” pickles now being “out there” for others to enjoy. Thanks Kerrie for sharing "Joy's Pickles", with the cyber world and your ideas and projects in general and thanks Mum for a great Pickles.