Grant and I grew Zephyr summer squash in summer of 2011. We had two plants. Those plants were my Lex Luthor.
At the beginning of summer, I started making stacks of feta fritters, which I loved. Then I just shredded and froze bags of 2 cup portions, which I hope to use for zucchini muffins this winter. Then I started dehydrating them, which didn’t really work although will likely come in handy in the event of a zombie apocalypse and we’ve run out of food, and even bugs, to eat. Dehydrated summer squash is that bad.
I then resorted to giving away a case of overgrown specimens at one point when the harvest glut nearly made me cry. (For the record, Grant was on vacation then and it was the height of canning season, which lasts from mid-August clear through to October and is exhausting. I usually am not reduced to tears by a plethora of squash.)
Thankfully, Fall set in. I ripped out one plant and plucked off what seemed to be thousands of baby squash. Grant agreed that bread and butter pickles with the baby vegetables would be great — “rip out the other plant if you want,” he tossed off casually, not realizing the importance of being able to rid the garden of the blasted squash once and for all.
These pickles are adapted from Epicurious. I have translated it to “parts” because the amount of summer squash you have depends on the amount of summer squash you have. So thus, everything else does too. I also removed the celery seeds from the recipe because who has such a small quantity of celery seeds sitting around? Celery salt for bloody Marys, sure, but celery seeds are not worth a trip to the store unless you are making piccalilli, in which case what are you waiting for? Go get them!
Finally, as outlined in the comments section of the Epicurious recipe, it is horked. I adjusted.
(I’ve adjusted the recipe again after tasting them, since they left me a bit flat.)
small yellow squash, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
onions, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices — use as much as you want, based on how many summer squash you have
1/4 – 1/2 cup canning salt
1 quart crushed ice
2 parts cider vinegar
1 1/2 part maple syrup
3/4 parts water
mustard seeds (lots)
pickling spice mix (I make my own, will try to post)
whole allspice (
don’t overdo it actually, feel free to use a heavy hand)
one whole dried cayenne pepper per jar, with seeds, fire-y hot
- Toss together yellow squash and onions with canning salt and crushed ice in a large bowl. Press a plate directly onto vegetables and place a 5-pound weight on top (a bag of sugar in a sealed plastic bag works well). Let stand at room temperature 4 hours.
- Bring vinegar, syrup, water, mustard seeds, allspice and celery seeds to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
- Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile (don’t cut all the way through), then add chiles to pickling liquid and continue to simmer 1 minute.
- Drain vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to catch liquid and add the liquid to the pickling juice. Bring that back to a boil and boil 5 minutes.
- Rinse the squash well in water. Really well.
- Pack squash into jars, tucking a chile pepper into side of each jar. Pour in pickling liquid.
- Process in BWB for 20 minutes.
- Let pickles stand in jars at least 1 week for flavors to develop.