I’m not really a fan of pickles. Whenever I receive one alongside a restaurant sandwich, I pass it on to my dining companions. There is something about the salty vinegar flavor that makes them completely unappetizing to me.
But as Heather pointed out, maybe I’ve just been eating the wrong pickles. I decided to depart from tradition by making pickles using squash instead of cucumbers and white wine vinegar + wine instead of white vinegar. As it turns out, I have been eating the wrong pickles, because I sampled these and liked them!
Summer Squash Pickles
Slightly adapted from “The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving”
Makes 5 to 6 half-pints
1 ¾ lb summer squash
1 1/3 c sliced onion
2 ½ c water
1 2/3 c sugar
1 ¼ c white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
Prepare for canning. Wash the jars and flat lids with hot, soapy water. Put the jars in the canning pot and fill the pot with hot water. Heat over medium-high heat to keep the jars hot. Place the lids in a heat-proof bowl.
Peel the squash and chop in ½” cubes. Slice the onion. Mix the squash and onion in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water, sugar, vinegar, salt and spices to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add the squash and onions, then bring back up to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, until the squash is heated through and tender.
Pack squash and liquid into hot jars, up to ½” below the rim. Use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles. Use a clean towel to wipe off the rims, and top each jar with a lid and a tightened ring. Place the jars back in the canning pot and make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Place the jars on a folded towel and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check the seals of the lids after 1 hour. If a seal has not formed, refrigerate the jar immediately.