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sweet pickled squash

2 ea delicata squash*
1 c water
1 ½ c apple cider vinegar
1 c sugar
2 Tbs kosher salt
10 ea black peppercorns
8 ea whole cloves
5 ea allspice berries (or ½ tsp ground)
1 ea cinnamon stick
2 ea mace flowers (or pinch ground nutmeg)
1 ea bay leaf
2 ea green cardamom pods

Crush whole spices with a mortar and pestle, or with a large pot on a cutting board.

Combine all ingredients except squash in a medium pot and bring to a gentle boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and let infuse for 2-3 minutes.

While pickling liquid is infusing, cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Remove the stem top from each half, and using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Save seeds for toasting, or discard.

Using a mandoline, or very sharp knife. cut the squash into strips as thin as possible, no thicker than 1/16th of an inch.

Place all squash slices into a sterilized canning jar, or heatproof container. Carefully pour pickling liquid over squash slices, then cover. Pickles are ready to eat when cool!

*You can use any squash for this, including acorn, butternut and pumpkin! Just remember, peel any thick-skinned squash, and make enough pickling liquid to cover the slices.

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