Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Paw-Paw's Killer Sweet and Hot Pickles

I love pickles. And I'm willing to eat them lots of ways (in a box, with a fox...) but these are my absolute favorite. I eat them straight out of a bowl as a snack. In fact, when I was pregnant with my daughter I ate SO MANY that this conversation ensued:

my father in law: "baby girl, don't you think you should slow down on those pickles?"
me: "no. your granddaughter loves them and they're healthy!"
fil: "honey. you've had EIGHTY SEVEN."
me: (shamed) "seriously?"
fil: "no. but you should really stop eating them."

I really thought I might have eaten that many. I'm glad he wasn't actually counting.

So I got the recipe, which is my husband's grandfather's as far as I know, and it's written in his handwriting, which I love. Get your grandparents to give you recipe cards that they actually write out- I LOVE going into my recipe box and getting handwritten love from somebody who's not around to hug anymore.

I don't make them very often, but last time we went to visit this was waiting for me in the fridge, with my NAME on it so everybody else would keep their grubby mitts off:

And yes, that is a half gallon jar, why do you ask? So what if I've eaten almost the whole thing in less than two weeks?

Paw-Paw's recipe:
1 gallon sliced dill pickles
4 pounds sugar (yes, POUNDS)
1 bottle tabasco sauce (I use a small one because I am a pansy, but you can adjust this to taste)

Drain liquid from pickles, reserving 2 cups.
Bring liquid to a boil. Add 4 POUNDS sugar, stir till dissolved, add tabasco. Stir well and add pickles back in.

If you're making a smaller recipe, basically it's a quart of pickles for every pound of sugar.

When I got these out the other day, my sister's husband ate some and said "wow. These are REALLY sweet. And not that hot." And then he kept eating them and soon his throat was on fire. They sneak up on you. At first you're lulled into complacency by the sugar and then the tabasco bites you.

My two year old asked for one today. I told him they were spicy but he insisted on tasting a "bee-ko". He ate it. He liked it. He had another. And another. And then number four...

He's now on his second string cheese to cool off his mouth and I may have turned him off pickles forever. Good. More for me.


Shoeaddict said...

Poor boy! Did you not eat "bee-kos" when you were pregnant with him?

I think that we will have to try this, for sure. Blue and I are huge pickle lovers.

Loni said...

More for you! I am dying laughing over here. I tell ya, those pickles sound interesting to me. Like you might need to make a batch so I can try one (or two, or three).

twinsmomma said...

Ok, I totally cracked up at those photos! Too funny! I've got to try one of those pickles!

Anonymous said...

That is TOO FUNNY! Hmmm, these pickles sound intriguing. Do they end up tasting like bread and butter pickles that are spicy?

I am not a big pickle-eater, but I love homemade pickles. I have a recipe for pickled okra that is really good (and spicy). We got okra from a farmers market and made it, and I was pretty impressed at how they turned out. And my mom makes japanese pickled vegetables (with carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers) that I love. I guess similar in theory to giardiniera, but sweet, not spicy. I'll have to dig out the recipes!

kelli said...

And just to clarify, I am not pregnant. :) I posted a link to this on facebook and people started asking if I was. I just like pickles, and happened to eat even more of them when I was pregnant before.