My Favorite Uncle’s Pickles

I think if my favorite uncle were alive today, he would be a localvore.  He grew up on the family dairy, cattle, and pig operation in Western Oklahoma.  I think that his ultimate dream would have been to remain on the family farm, but his more immediate youthful dreams took him to “the city.”  He continued to have a huge garden in the middle of the largest city in our state during most of his adult life.  He was also a BIG eater and a true foodie.  He loved to experiment with ingredients. 

Friday nights tended to be pizza night in our family.  Mom would always make homemade crust and the usual toppings were smoked sausage or hamburger.  It was always an occasion when my uncle came to visit and usually his visits coincided with Friday night.  When I was seven or eight, I remember him chipping in and helping make pizza.  To my horror (for at that time I was a pizza purest), he added chopped raw onions to our pizza.  I told mom later that I really did not want him helping anymore.

I remember him cooking a great deal, but I NEVER remember him following a recipe.  This is one of the few recipes that he actually wrote down to share, but I doubt he followed it exactly every time.  

Unc’s Pickles 

1 (48 0z.) jar whole dill pickles
2 1/2  cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar 
2/3 cup pickle juice   
1/2 cup water
1  teaspoon each of mustard, celery and dill seeds
3 cloves garlic, mashed
 1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(My sister adds some fresh grated horseradish.) 

Cut dills into 1/2 inch slices.  Place pickles back in jar.  Place remaining ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Pour over the pickles in the jar and let set 3 or more days in the refrigerator.

A double-dose of Unc's Pickles

As you can see, as an homage to Unc, I added some onions that I just pulled from the garden.  (I also doubled the recipe.)

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