Sunday, May 27, 2012



That's how a friend described the home-made pickles we served at our Memorial Day Weekend BBQ today.

Admittedly, the cucumbers we used to make the pickles were neither from my garden nor from my CSA.  It's a little too early in the season for cucumbers.

But when shopping for pre-made cucumbers at the store, my husband and I were dismayed to find that all the pickles -- even the pickles in the refrigerator section -- had weird ingredients (flavors, colors, gums, and preservatives).

What?!  Pickles are...pickled.  You don't have to do anything to them to make them shelf stable or  to make them keep for a long time.  Why do food manufacturers put so much weird, non-food crap in PICKLES, of all things??!!

So, we had to make our own, local cucumbers or not.

1 quart mason jar with lid, or any lidded glass container
3-4 pickling cucumbers
3 cloves garlic
8 sprigs fresh dill
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
2/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

Quarter the cucumbers into four slices each, lengthwise, or cut into 1/4-inch chips.

Cut the garlic cloves in quarters.

In an extra mason jar or covered container, combine coriander seeds, sugar, kosher salt and vinegar. Tightly close the lid and shake vigorously until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Add 1 cup water to the mixture.

In the clean mason jar, tightly pack the sliced cucumbers, sliced garlic, and sprigs of fresh dill.

Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers.

Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles and top off the jar with extra water if any cucumbers are exposed.  [My container was large and many cucmbers were exposed.  I chose to double the brine recipe and double the water, rather than just adding water.]

Place the lid on the jar and screw on the ring until it is tight.

Leave the jar in the fridge for 24 hours before tasting.

This recipe was taken, verbatim, from Easy Garlic Dill Pickles.  The photography in the original post is lovely; I don't have anything even remotely as nice and green to share.

I do, however, have a suggestion for the step in which you put the ingredients for the brine in a jar and "shake vigorously."

Give the jar to a pre-schooler, who will close her eyes and shake it like her life depends on it.

And then give it to a toddler, who will drop it and then roll it around on the floor.

I assure you that if you use this method, all of the salt and sugar will dissolve perfectly.  :-)

I took the picture below as I put the cucumbers in the fridge, fully intending to take some lovely photos of the resultant pickles.

Almost exactly 24 hour later, I removed the pickles from the fridge; almost exactly 24 minutes after that, they were all gone.

So much for lovely photography.

But I'm not sorry.  And if you make these, you won't be either!

After all, they're magical.


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