Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Sooner-than-later pickles


My friend, Margo Townley, is a skillful, creative cook. So, when Margo posts on her Facebook page about something she’s cooking, I pay attention. Recently, she mentioned making refrigerator pickles, and I thought, “Ahhh ... almost-instant-gratification pickles! I hope she’ll share her recipe.”

We’re in luck! Margo was happy to share, and the recipe follows below. Enjoy!

Chase Hill’s New Cheeses Available at Green Fields Market: Jeannette Fellows of Chase Hill Farm in Warwick is producing several new varieties of cheese. Available at the farm and Green Fields Market on Main St., Greenfield. New varieties include: Oliver’s Red, Tomme de Normande, and Bliss Hill Blue. For information, contact Jeannette at (978) 544-6327 or visit

Preserving the Harvest: Dehydrating Fruits & Vegetables,Thursday, Aug. 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Dickinson Memorial Library, Northfield. Part of Transition Northfield’s Reskilling Workshop Series. Join Shirley Keech to see examples of dehydrators, try out dried foods, and bring home step-by-step instructions for drying produce at home. Registration encouraged, but not required. To register, contact Emily Koester at: (413) 225-3028 or

Two events at Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, 165 Chestnut Hill Road, Orange:

Grow Food Everywhere! Tour and Harvest Market, Saturday, Aug. 10. Morning Tour: 10 to 11:30 a.m., Potluck lunch and market: Noon to 2 p.m. Join Ricky Baruc and Deb Habib to learn about Seeds of Solidarity’s solar greenhouses, no-till cardboard methods for abundant low-maintenance gardens, solar electric and hot water systems, energy efficient buildings, and youth and community programs that Grow Food Everywhere. No cost or pre-registration, but donations support Seeds of Solidarity’s youth and community programs. Directions: For information, contact: Deb Habib, (978) 544-9023.

School Gardens for Everyone! Workshop, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Deb Habib shares practices learned through over 25 years of implementing and supporting school gardens. Gain techniques for school gardens and greenhouses, curriculum connections, and recipes for wellness and success. PDPs (professional development points) available to teachers. Pre-registration required, $35 ($25 for Seeds of Solidarity supporters). Coffee and tea provided, bring potluck lunch to share. To register, visit or call (978) 544-9023.

This week we’re eating. . .


By Margo Townley, Greenfield

Enough for 2 quarts

Slice about 2 pounds of small cukes and 1 medium or large onion about 1∕8 inch thick and place in large bowl with about 2 T. of kosher, sea, or other non-iodized salt. Leave on kitchen counter for 11∕2 to 2 hours covered with tea towel. This draws out water and makes pickles/onions crunchy. Go do something useful or entertaining. Come back when time is up. Drain water out of cukes and onions (be amazed at how much there is) and rinse them thoroughly in colander. Put colander over bowl so they don’t drip everywhere and move them out of the way.

Make brine by heating 2 C. cider vinegar and 1 C. white vinegar with 1 C. of sugar (brown or raw work well). Add 1∕2 tsp. turmeric (turns them yellow) and 1∕4 tsp. ground yellow mustard powder. Heat over medium low until sugar is all dissolved, 3-6 minutes. Cooking vinegar will be smelly and can make you cough. Let this cool a bit while you prep jars. Into each sanitized (by boiling water) quart jar put 1 tsp. whole mustard seeds and 1∕2 tsp. celery seeds. Fill jars with cukes and onions. Pour brine over the top until it overflows and put lid on tightly. Shake well. Place in fridge. They will be ready to eat in 24 hours, but they get better with age. Onions are great by about day 3-4. We like the onions on burgers, in tuna or egg salad, so I always put in extra onions. If you like them hot, add red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, or cayenne. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. I haven’t tried honey instead of sugar, but I plan to.

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