Christmas Pickles were one of the items that my mom would make most every year around Christmas that I never really understood. They were called Christmas Pickles, but I did not see anything particularly “Christmas-y” about them. I assumed for a while the name was a reference to the fact that Mom often gave them to friends and family as presents…until I found the recipe and realized that was their actual name.
They were also something that my mom and those she gifted them to seem to love, but everyone else in our house did not eat. Christmas Pickles have a distinct combination of sweet and heat. The heat comes from horseradish. Frankly, it may have had more to do with Mom and Dad processing their own horseradish than with the pickles themselves.
Today, I kind of like Christmas Pickles, but the real fan in my house is my husband. This year he pulled a two-quart jar of commercially-made dill pickles from the pantry cabinet for me to make him some Christmas Pickles. I made him help…the jar has to be shaken to make the pickles. I suggest using one quart jars of dill pickles to turn into Christmas pickles…they are much easier to shake enough 🙂
Before my husband helped me shake the jar, he re-read the recipe….he thought I had made a mistake because there is very little moisture before you start shaking the jar. Yes, they will turn out fine. There really is not suppose to be much moisture…it will come out as they are refrigerated.
This year I may have discovered while they are really called Christmas pickles. The sweet start finished with the horseradish heat marries perfectly with the rich fattiness of a Christmas dinner bone-in standing rib roast (a.k.a. prime rib).