My mother has been making Lady Ashburnham pickles for as long as I can remember. We would eat them with roast beef, turkey, chicken, or ham dinners. After I moved out, Lady Ashburnham pickles became a standard part of my mother’s regular “care package”. It still brings a smile to my face when I think of how something so seemingly simple meant so much to me.
Eventually my mother suggested that I learn how to make this delicious pickle dish myself. “It’s not very difficult”, she told me. I remember the satisfaction of finally bottling my first batch! It’s was a little more time consuming than I’m used to, but certainly not difficult at all. Since then, I’ve started to give them away at Christmas. They make a wonderful addition to any Christmas gift basket, especially when bottled in with the holiday lids.
Now I have children of my own, and Lady Ashburnham pickles have become a family favourite for the next generation. My daughter still refers to them as “Nana’s pickles”, even though she has watched me make them. I don’t mind. My mother is the inspiration behind every bottle I make.
Lady Ashburnham Pickles
6 large cucumbers (cut small, peeled with seeds removed)
or 8 English cucumbers (cut and peeled)
1/4 cup salt
4 cups onions, chopped fine
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar
3 Tbsps. flour
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. turmeric
1 tsp. mustard seed
1 tsp. celery seed
This is definitely a two day process. Cut your cucumbers and onions into small pieces (if you are using a food processor, take care not to over do it), and mix together in a large pot. Add salt to cucumbers and onions, and let sit overnight. Wash salt off the next day, and add the remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat for 45 mins, making sure to stir the pickles often. Bottle in sterilized jars, and allow the pickles to cool before refrigerating. Enjoy!