A pickled cucumber (commonly known as a PICKLE in the United States and Canada, and a GHERKIN in Britain, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution. They are then left to ferment for a period by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation. There are many varieties of pickles…Genuine Dill, Kosher dill, Hungarian, Sweet, Polish, Bread-and-Butter, Gherkin, and the good old AFRH-W Freezer Pickle! On September 4 residents were treated to homemade freezer pickles to kick off the Labor Day Weekend.
It has become an annual tradition at AFRH-W to serve up these tasty pickles at the Labor Day Cookout. RT Garden Terraces grows an abundance of cucumbers with residents enjoying a variety of dishes to include cucumber sandwiches, cucumber pasta, cucumber and tomato salad, and of course freezer pickles. Who knew you could make pickles from cucumbers in the freezer? I didn’t! One day I was pondering what to do with our plethora of cucumbers when Recreation Team Lead Linda Bailey said, “Why don’t you make freezer pickles?” and a tradition was born.
The following recipe creates the sweetest, most delicious pickles I have ever tasted. The following recipe serves only 24… We made enough to serve all the residents!
21 cups thinly sliced pickling cucumbers
5-6 yellow or sweet onions – peeled and thinly sliced
2 large red onions – peeled and thinly sliced
6 tbsp. kosher salt
6 cups granulated sugar
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. mustard seed
3 tbsp. celery seed
*Put it all together and refrigerate for 24 hours then put in the freezer for a month.*
Residents were able to watch the “Cooking with Chef Carol Show” which demonstrated how the pickles were made on the Home’s Channel 4 Senior Television station a month prior to the Labor Day event. Once they had a taste of the freezer pickles, rave reviews came into the recreation department.
Due to the pandemic, recreation therapy and recreation improvised the Labor Day Cookout pickle booth and created a “Roving Pickle Cart” and a “Pass by Pick-up Pickle stand.”
The challenge was on… Recreation’s Marla McGuinness and Recreation Therapy’s Carol Mitchell decided to see who could be the most creative in designing their pickle distribution carts. It was fun for the residents bringing a smile to their faces when Marla had residents taking pickle photo pictures. Carol went roaming the healthcare units with a giant pickle, and of course freezer pickles to sample!