We pronounced it “tumrick” but it is spelled Turmeric and is a wonderful golden-colored spice that you may have heard of.
If not, Turmeric is a member of the ginger family grown in South Asia because it needs lots of rain and will not survive the cold. In Medieval times it has been used as a saffron replacement, Indian Saffron, because it is less expensive.
Turmeric gives things a nice golden color and is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and other clinical disorders.
Where I come from it is a type of pickle. My mother and her mother before made lots of pints of turmeric pickles. Since we couldn’t locate any dill in a hurry, I decided to use the amassing of cucumbers in my 10-day absence to make this old-fashioned recipe.
Now, here is the issue… these old recipes made assumptions that you have pickled before and therefore don’t need any instructions. So naturally I had to call my mom and ask a few questions. Hopefully you will be able to replicate these tasty little treats.
On a side note, I heard once or read once that the Germans from Russia always ate pickles as a palate-cleansing food in opposition to the all the dumplings and smoked sausages they ate. Makes sense so I’m sticking with that theory.
Here’s my version that made 10 pint jars and a few extra for tasting.
INGREDIENTS for TURMERIC PICKLES
From Lorraine Kaseman via her mother Emma Schwind Meidinger
12 cups thinly sliced cucumbers, any size (as in use the overgrown ones for these pickles and the small ones whole for dills)
3 chopped onions (medium to small)
Sprinkle vegetables with salt and let stand for a minimum of three hours. Okay so here is when it gets tricky. It doesn’t say how much salt, so I would guess that I used about a level measuring tablespoon per 4 cups of cucumber slices or 3 tablespoons for this recipe. I let mine sit overnight cause I was busy.
When you are ready to put them up, prepare 10 pints by washing well and rinsing. Pour boiling water into them or put them in boiling water until you are ready to fill them with the hot cukes. Prepare 10 lids and bands by placing them in a bowl of boiling water.
Now, drain the cucumber/onion mix and put in a large kettle. Add:
3 teaspoons whole mustard seed
¾ cup sugar
3 teaspoons turmeric
18 whole cloves (the spice, not garlic)
Now, fill the pan with vinegar to cover the vegetables just to the top. Heat to a boil, but do not cook. Fill prepared jars; wipe rims carefully, place a warm lid on top, screw tight with a band and turn upside down. Do not turn until cool at which time you will hear the familiar pop of the seal. If you do not hear the seal pop, put that jar in the refrigerator and eat with supper. Enjoy.