By John Cummins; General Manager of Resident Dining at Bucknell University
2013 was the Summer of the Pickle here at Bucknell University. It began with the menu for one of our big luncheon events during our 2013 Reunion Weekend. Our Executive Chef Kyle Murphy put together a great BBQ menu for the event that incorporated an array of locally-sourced ingredients, including house-made pickles.
We hand-sliced over 50 gallons of cucumbers in our Bostwick kitchen and handed them over to Executive Sous Chef Ian Bower who took the cucumbers and made a variety of delicious pickles.
After the event, we took the remaining pickles, heat sealed them in Ball jars, made some labels and distributed them all around campus to staff, administrators and friends. They were a huge hit! Everyone loved them and raved about their flavor and freshness.
After we jarred and distributed all these pickles, I was reminded of when I was young and my mother who would make delicious Pickled Beet Eggs.
The recipe and process was simple. She would combine and heat up two cans of sliced canned beets, one cup of sugar, one cup of salt, a quart of vinegar and a cup of water. Finally, she would add two dozen boiled eggs and let it sit in a cool spot for a week to make what my family calls Beet Eggs.
This inspired my wife and me to experiment with pickling using ingredients other than the traditional eggs and cucumbers. We tried local carrots, garlic, peppers, onions and corn and let the mix for each cool in plastic bags and containers.
Every batch we made was very flavorful. We tried a variety of recipes, using Kosher Salt and different vinegars. We had lots of fun and filled lots of jars that we plan on enjoying during the winter months.
Although I can’t share our Susquehanna Valley pickled bounty with all of you, I found this great recipe in the September 2013 issue of Bon Appetite Magazine that shows you how to produce your very own pickled vegetables. It is very similar to the method my wife and I used all summer. Give it a go, and try my Mom’s Pickled Beet Eggs sometime, too!
Thanks very much for reading.