Oldfashioned making things from scratch

Trying to get back to basic homemade

Old fashioned


Gammy August 18, 2020
There is an interesting cookbook titled, "Make the Bread, Buy the Butter" that discusses the whys and wherefores of making basic foods and where your money and time is best spent. I don't agree with everything written, but the insights are thought provoking.
creamtea August 18, 2020
Sounds good. We have made buttermilk and crème fraîche (super easy), jam, challah, ice cream, pickles and cured Moroccan lemons (which I make all the time). Still working on getting the pickles right. Tried sourdough but the starter failed.
Nancy August 18, 2020
Two very easy and reliable pickles for your consideration:
• mixed vegetables (Italian, called giardiniera or sottoaceti). Great as as appetizer.
• red onion pickle (when they are available again after the California salmonella outbreak ends).
Many recipes out there or I can post the ones I use, if you want.
gandalf August 18, 2020
Many years ago my mother used to put sliced cucumbers and yellow/white onions into a pickling mix that she kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator; she would add sliced cucumbers and onions to the mix as we ate the pickled vegetables. I'm not sure whether there was a specific recipe that she used for the pickling mix, or whether it was simply done on an ad hoc basis. (I was fairly young at the time, and never paid attention to the amounts of ingredients.)

Years later I tried to recreate the pickling mix; through trial and error this is what I came up with:


½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 + 2/3 cups water
1 + 2/3 Tbsp. (= 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp.) white granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
splash canola/vegetable oil


(1) Place all ingredients in a pot; heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt dissolve. Cool to room temperature.

(2) Transfer to a lidded container; add desired sliced cucumbers and onions, and refrigerate, allowing a couple of days for the vegetables to absorb the liquid. (When I add cucumbers, I use "pickling" cucumbers, and peel them and cut into 1/2-inch slices; very thin slices get too soggy too quickly.)

(3) As you eat the vegetables, more can be added to the initial pickling mix (you can do this for a few more iterations, until the pickling mix becomes too diluted).

This is a good way for me to use up the cucumbers that I grow in my garden.
Gammy August 18, 2020
Here is a very, very simple recipe for pickled cucumbers and onions:
1 pound seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar +/-
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt +/-
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine or any other vinegar on hand
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the sugar and salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and onion and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve. Super easy peasy. Feel free to adjust to suit your taste. I add fresh dill when I have it. You can also add in new cukes, but the liquid will thin out after a couple additions, so you are then better off starting from scratch.
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