July 24, 2012

Homemade Pickles

I like pickles.
They're good.
But homemade pickles.
Oh. My. Gosh.
They're the best.

The story starts like this...........
A friend of mine has a garden and this year she grew some cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers.
They are the most crunchy, sweet cucumbers I've ever had.
So, when she offered me a bag of them, I couldn't turn them down.
I thought I'd start down the canning food road and make a few jars of pickles.
Last night I drove to the store to pick up the necessary canning supplies.
But after standing there for a good 20 minutes looking at everything, reading the labels, etc.
I left empty handed. (not completely, I did buy some more bananas. my boys eat through them like crazy. and I picked up some dill seed and white distilled vinegar)
While looking through everything on the shelves of the canning section of the store, I realized I wasn't quite ready to make the leap to canning my own food.
One day but not today.

So, with my white vinegar and dill seed I created a mixed version of canning/refrigerator pickles.
They've only been in the refrigerator overnight and already they're amazing.
Crunchy, salty goodness.

I used this recipe as my starting point. But changed the process up a bit.

Here's what I did:

one 16 oz. cracker jar with lid (any jar with a lid will work)
4 or 5 medium size cucumbers
2 c. water
2 c. white distilled vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
half of a 1/4 c. salt
1 1/2 T. dill seed

In a saucepan bring the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
I warmed my jar (minus the lid) in the microwave for less than a minute. This helps keep the temp even when you pour the hot vinegar into the jar.
Loosely pack 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices of cucumbers in warm jar. Sprinkle dill seed over top.
Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers and leave about 1/2 head space at the top. Cover and let cool to room temp on the counter. Once cooled place in refrigerator overnight.
Since I've just made these myself, I'm not sure how long they will keep in the refrigerator but I'm thinking at least a week or so. I'll update later with my thoughts on this.

So, that's it.
Pretty easy, right?
If you like pickles, give this recipe a try.
You won't be disappointed. :)

Another summer activity completed. Happy ending.

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