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21 July 2008

Chick pea burgers and pickles

We had a lovely weekend. Hanno worked at the food and coffee stall at our local organic farmers markets on Saturday morning. Our Centre runs the stall and we make quite a pretty penny from it. Hanno gets to socialise and I get some alone time - win/win. He was home just after lunch so we sat on the front verandah with a cup of tea while he told me all the news from the markets and relaxed. Then we closed the front gates and spent the rest of the weekend together, alone, in our little semi-rural homestead.

Most of my weekend was spent gardening, knitting and cooking. The garden of tomatoes and cucumbers was pulled out, raked over, had worm castings and compost added and will be planted up again this week with more vegetables. A basket of cucumbers was harvested and although there were a few good ones the majority of them had marks on the skin. I sorted out the good ones for salads and put them in the fridge, the others were made into bread and butter pickles. I had to peel the skin off two of them, some where given to the chooks because the damage was internal, the rest were fine for pickling.

I have written about pickled cucumbers - called bread and butter cucumbers - before, but here is the recipe again. It's a good recipe to have as it will help you preserve a glut of cucumbers or those that aren't perfect. When you're a gardener, it's important to have recipes such as this because you don't want to waste any food. It's fine to give some to the chooks, but as long as the vegetables are okay inside and just have damaged skin, it should be human food.

5 medium cucumbers cut into 5 mm slices
350g onions, sliced very thinly
green capsicum and red chilli are optional
50g salt
350 ml cider or white wine vinegar
350g sugar
2 level tablespoons mustard seed
2 level tablespoons celery seed
½ level teaspoon turmeric
¼ level teaspoon cayenne pepper
Slice the cucumbers, onions, capsicums and chilli and place in a bowl, and salt and let stand for 3 hours. Drain, rinse under the cold tap and drain thoroughly. Bring the remaining ingredients to the boil in a stainless steel saucepan and then add the vegetables. Reduce the heat, bring just to the simmer and cook 2 minutes. Pour hot into sterilized jars, making sure the liquid covers the cucumbers and seal.

I also did up one large jar of mustard pickles. That used up two of my small cauliflowers, some of the celery and cabbage.

The recipe is from here.

Chef: Mrs. Betty McVinish Rockhampton Qld.

In the ABC Gardening Talkback Great Home-made Pickles and Jam Challenge, this recipe won second prize in the Best Pickles category.

You need:
500g Cauliflower (Chopped) [1.1 lb]
250g Beans (Chopped) [9oz]
360g Onions (Chopped) [13 oz]
150g Red Capsicum (Chopped) [6oz]
¼ cup coarse cooking salt
2 tabs seeded mustard
2 teas dry mustard
3 teas curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 ¾ cups white vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tabs plain flour
¼ cup white vinegar – extra

[I added ¼ chopped cabbage and green capsicums (peppers) as we had no red ones on the bushes.]

Combine cauliflower, beans, onions and capsicum in large bowl.Sprinkle with salt, cover and stand overnight.
Rinse vegetables under cold water and drain.
Combine vegetables with other ingredients in large boiler.
Stir over heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved.
Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes
Stir in blended flour and extra vinegar.
Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens.
Pour into sterilised jars.

The mustard pickles are on the far right with the green lid.

On Sunday we had a delicious lunch on the front verandah with the sun streaming in to warm us. I'd made wholegrain bread rolls, collected lettuce and tomatoes from the garden and also added the coleslaw I made on Saturday. It was a very local meal - chickpea burgers.

This is a simple recipe that is very easy to make.


Into a blender or food processor add:
two cups of pre-soaked chickepeas
2 small onions
one carrot
1 stick celery
2 eggs
1 cup dry breadcrumbs or two potatoes
salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cumin

Whiz that up until it forms a thick paste. Form into four patties and fry in oil until brown on both sides.

Hanno had two of these, I had one but will take the other, and some coleslaw, to work today for my lunch. Chick pea burgers are delicious, healthy and cheap and I think meat eaters would enjoy them.

I have a very busy day ahead with work, then a meeting after it. It looks like a 10 hour day for me. But I feel rested and loved so no matter what comes my way today, I'm ready for it, with a smile.


  1. I have never been one to eat chickpeas but that burger looks so good that i will definately give it a try.

  2. Thank you for a lovely post.

    I always thought bread and butter cucumbers involved bread and butter and so thought it sounded weird! ;)

    Sounds ok now though :)

  3. It sounds like you had a lovely day. Bread and butter pickles are our favorite here. In America, we dont cook with grams. What does 1 gram equal? Also I have never heard of mustard pickles.

  4. Good Morning Rhonda

    Thankyou for the Mustard Pickle recipe, I will be trying this out later in the week.
    I am glad you had a good weekend and the sun shone on you. We have been working on our new allotment, putting up a rabbit fence. Something we will need as even as we worked the rabbits sat watching us.
    Ooo and those chickpea burgers look good, something to try for supper this week. Could I use tinned chickpeas?

    Have a happy day.


  5. Hello Lisa, Anita, Suzen and Pippa.

    Suzem, 1 gram i= 0.034 oz

    Pippa love, yes, tinned chickpeas would be fine. If you use dry peas, they need to be soaked in water for 12 hours, then drained well.

  6. I will try the chickpea-burger recipe.
    I bought them last week just because I did not know them. The pickle-recipes will have to wait for a moment later on.

  7. Those chickpea burgers look delicious. I've already copied the recipe and will be trying it some time soon. Thank you :)

  8. I love chick peas, so think this would be a good recipe to try. I too have work all this week.

    Take care,

    Gill from Canada

  9. YUM! Awesome recipes and pickling instructions top! wonderful! Maybe I can do some of these things.
    My Mom always made bread & butter pickles and they are my favorites!
    Thanks for posting the instructions!

  10. Wow those chickpea burgers look yummy - I am not vegetarian but have wanted to try these for ages.

  11. Hi Rhonda, thanks for the burger recipe. I have burgers on my menu for this week and had decided that I would see if I could find a new recipe to try, and I find it here without even looking :)

    cheers Kate/Lenny

  12. Mmm, those garbanzo burgers look heavenly. Cucumbers are my favorite food, so I need a good way to make them last past the summer. Thanks for the pickle recipe!

  13. The chickpea burgers look great and I'm looking forward to trying that.
    I never learned how to really do canning and I admit I feel a little daunted about sterilizing jars and such. I wonder if you might do a posting some time on canning and perhaps some easy tips from your knowledge of it. I'd like to try it but I'm concerned about not getting it right and spoiling the food. Just a thought but thanks very much if you consider doing a post about it.

  14. Sounds like you had a nice weekend! It was hot again here in Nebraska -- 96 degrees and HUMID!!! I did, however, force myself out into the yard and garden and trimmed and mowed and picked some zucchini, lettuce, and broccoli. Take care!


  15. Those chickpea burgers look tempting, thanks for the recipe.

    Rhonda your rolls always look so professional, do you have a secret for shaping them or placing them on the tray? Mine always look pretty sad.

    Hope the long day is going ok,

  16. I have been wanting to try chickpea patties. Your recipe looks delicious. Thank you!

  17. Hello Rhonda~ I appreciate you talking about not wasting food from the garden (or otherwise gotten) and instead using the 'less than perfect specimens' for preserves of some kind.
    TV programming gives younger homemakers the idea that each piece of fruit or veg that one uses must be TV perfect. Much common sense is lost and alot of excess $$$ spent when trying to can, preserve and pickle with flats of 'TV perfect food'.
    Thanks for always having an interesting post. I love the wonderful settings you describe as you have tea with your Hanno.

  18. What great recipes-I love home made hummus so the chick pea burgers are something I will have to try. I love most pickles, and I wonder if you can make kosher dill pickles from English cucumbers. I am so glad that you had a lovely week-end.

  19. Hello Rhonda:

    What a lovely blog today!!! I have been looking for a great veggie burger recipe and I think I may have just found it :) I have never made pickles but the recipes, alone, make me want to try. Thanks again for sharing - something you do so very well. Have a great week.



  20. Here's one person who doesn't like chick peas. Can't stand them. I think I'm the only person I know that truly hates them. Your burgers look yummy though. But I'll still stick with my homemade chicken burgers.

  21. Rhonda, the chickpea burgers look delicious and easy to make, too! I wonder if they taste a bit like falafel. I think I'll try them when I have chickpeas on hand.

  22. Rhonda,
    So glad you all had a nice weekend and sure hope your day has been nice today.

    Wanted to ask if you all had any problems when you got chickens and them being around your dogs? Did it take your "furbabies" a long time to get used to your chickens?
    We would not be able to free range, but would have a nice chicken coop.

    Thanks for any advice on this.
    Blessings to you,

  23. Beth from Upstate NYJuly 21, 2008 11:23 pm

    Are you able to store your pickles in the pantry or are these strictly for the refrigerator?

  24. Thanx for your inspiring site - I'm all fired up to do some pickling, although I'll need to shop for the vegies, as my little patch is limited. Looking forward to your next posting! Twan - South Africa

  25. The burgers look great! I am looking to add more variety to our meals and also use less meat. Thanks for the recipe.

    Look forward to your blog every morning. Thanks Rhonda!!

  26. I've been reading your blog for a few months, but this is the first time I've commented. I love reading about your authentic life, it's inspiring. And those chickpea burgers look great.

    What made me comment is your pickles. We can pickles each year too. They are so delicious. If you need something to spruce up the lids, I've designed some labels which you can download here:

  27. Thanks for the recipes. Perfect timing! I have fallen behind on reading your blog so know I'm playing catch up because I love all you have to say! ~Kim

  28. Hi Rhonda,

    Last night for dinner we had the chickpea burgers (excellent!)with squash from our garden and peaches from a friend. Felt so healthy and happy!

    Thanks again!

  29. HI,
    Will you be adding a solar cooker anytime soon?

  30. hi JD, maybe. Hanno has been reading quite a bit about solar ovens lately.

  31. Hi Rhonda,
    I have been trawling your website for a few days now and you've definitely got a plethora of information! Definitely going to try this chickpea recipe, although i might just halve it and try it coz i don't think my other half might like it.
    Can't please them all!


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