Cucumbers and honey


We harvested, extracted, and bottled honey today. I have tons of video of the process, but it will be a while before I get it all edited and spliced together into something resembling a coherent Podcast. We harvested 10 frames. The photo above shows the first six frames’ worth of honey. The new extractor worked very well. Every surface in our house seems to be coated with honey at the moment, but it’s worth it.

I’ve spent a lot of time working in the kitchen lately, processing things I’ve harvested from the garden. Last night, I made a batch of pickles:

This pickle recipe is a slight variation on one my mom’s friend Dana gave her. I’ll post it later.

All the cucumbers that had gotten too big and ripe to use for pickles wound up being turned into relish. I don’t normally eat much relish, but I think this stuff is straight-up awesome. I made the recipe up as I went along, based on three or four recipes I’d seen online and a few of my own ideas about what I’d like on a hot dog.

Here’s the recipe:


Emily’s Pickle Relish

About six large or 10 small pickling cucumbers, quartered, with seeds removed
Two large red onions, peeled and quartered
Three bell peppers, cored and quartered
Five ribs of celery, washed and trimmed
1 c. cider vinegar
2 c. water
1/3 c. pickling salt
2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. mustard seed
1 tbsp. dried red pepper flakes
2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. celery seed
1 tsp. cloves, crushed
1 head garlic, peeled and pressed

Place vegetables in food processor and chop finely. Place chopped vegetables in colander and let drain for an hour or so.


Place remaining ingredients in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to keep sugar from burning. Stir and boil liquid until its volume decreases by about a third. Remove from heat. (You could probably shorten the cooking time here by simply using less water to start with.)


Place drained vegetables in a large bowl. Stir syrup into vegetables. Pack in small jars and process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Makes about six pints.

After all our hard work the past couple of days, we rewarded ourselves tonight with a trip to the Performing Arts Center downtown to see The Phantom of the Opera. I’d already seen Phantom two or three times in St. Louis, but Ron had never seen it. The performers were all really good, and even Ron — who normally hates Andrew Lloyd Webber — enjoyed it. 

Hope your day was as good as mine.



10 thoughts on “Cucumbers and honey”

  1. Aww, you even got little bear jars for the honey. Too cute!

    If I had any exterior space at all and the will to garden, I would grow craploads of edible goodies. Alas, being yardless and hating tending to plants always gets in the way.

  2. Seriously! My husband is a honey fanatic. Especially it being very local. Sell us some honey!!! 🙂

  3. The relish looks great, I will have to give it a try. When I was a child, a local lady used to make Salt Pickles for us. Have you ever heard of a recipe for canned Salt Pickles? I never see them in grocery stores.

  4. Angie: We’re still figuring out how much to charge for it. As soon as we’ve settled on a price, I’ll sell you some. 🙂

    FreeWine: I haven’t heard of salt pickles, but has tons of recipes for them here. I think I’ve found a home for some bread-and-butter pickles, so that will probably be my next project. You can’t believe the boatload of cucumbers I just brought in from the garden a few minutes ago….

  5. Mom made salt pickles a time or two, but mostly she used Aunt Bertha’s recipe. Mom’s weren’t quite as good as Bert’s, but they were usually okay. Bert could have competed with Claussen and given them plenty to worry about. I love the way the house smells when you’re making pickles–that pungent aroma that makes your mouth water as soon as you walk in the door.

    Your honey bears remind me of the Chinese terra cotta army. If I had some, I’d make homemade bread.

  6. I’ve been trying to find a source of freshly picked pickling cukes (live in UC)… any ideas? The farmers market ones I bought last week were a couple of days old by the time I got them, and were not suitable for pickling.

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