My grandmother was an amazing cook. Everything she put on the table was wholesome and delicious, including lunch, which was often a sandwich made on fresh crusty Italian bread, and always accompanied by a spoonful of her tangy, sweet and sour zucchini pickles.
Grandma's pickles were hand-sliced paper thin, which was the secret to their tasty deliciousness. Back when she made her pickles, zucchini was only readily available in the standard green color.
I think they look even prettier made with a mix of yellow and green zucchini (the smaller the better) and I paid a little extra for red bell peppers. Believe it or not, the first time I substituted the multi-colored veggies, I actually worried that I may have altered the recipe enough to change the taste or texture of the pickles. Silly me! They're every bit as tasty, and Grandma would have loved the contrast.
Convinced that Grandma knew what she was doing, I still take the time to hand-slice the zucchini. It's worth it!
In a large kettle or bowl, slice-
4 quarts zucchini
6 white onions
1 1/2 cups sweet red bell pepper
Sprinkle over all, 1/4 cup not-iodized salt or pickling salt.
Cover with a layer of ice and let stand for three hours. Drain and rinse once. Pour veggies into a large pot or kettle.
5 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
3 cups vinegar
Pour over pickles and heat to boiling. Drop a 1/2 clove of garlic in each of five pint-sized, mason jars. Ladle the boiling hot zucchini pickles, with syrup, into the jars and seal with a ring and lid. Process in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes (to store in the pantry) or keep in the refrigerator like store-bought pickles. Enjoy as an accompaniment at lunch or dinner - a pretty addition to any plate! For a special treat, slip a few on a ham or chicken sandwich - mmm!