Four Pickles

Standard

Not so long ago (like just a few weeks ago) we fell in love with B’more Bills Dills. You can check out our post. They make the bestest pickles you’ve ever had. But if you aren’t in the B-more area – or, like for us, the farmer’s market is over for the year, it may be tough to come by their fabulous product. It got us thinking… how are pickles made? And could we do it? Of course, normal people do their pickle-making in the summer, when cucumbers and other pickling-type veggies are freshest. We’re not everyone though. We bought a bunch of cukes and beans at the grocery store and set out to try pickling for ourselves.

We experimented with four different recipes for pickles. Basically, we studied pickle-making technique online and then shifted the ingredient list around for each variation to create a unique flavor. It worked. This is a fun project and kids can participate by stuffing the jars (and eating the pickles!). It doesn’t take long to make your own pickles – we made all four kinds, including prep, in about an hour.

From left to right in the photo, here are our recipes:

Spicy Dills

makes 3 quart jars

3 large cucumbers, sliced into half-moons

1 cup fresh dill fronds

9 cloves garlic

3 tsp. mustard seeds

3 tsp. black peppercorns

6 bay leaves

1 1/2 cup water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1  Tbl. brown sugar

3/4 Tbl. salt

Fill clean, dry jars with cucumbers, dill, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves. Distribute as evenly as possible between your 3 jars.

In a large metal bowl combine water, vinegars, sugar and salt. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour evenly over 3 jars of cucumbers and seal tightly. Store in fridge for 2 days before eating. Then crack that jar open and dig in! Will last about 3-4 months stored in fridge.

Thai Heat Pickles

makes 3 quart jars

3 large cucumbers, sliced into half-moons

3 thai hot peppers

3 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 lemon, zested (use only zest)

3 Tbl. basil chiffonade

1 inch knob of fresh ginger, cut into three pieces

12 cloves garlic

1 1/2 cup water

1 cup brown rice vinegar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1  Tbl. brown sugar

3/4 Tbl. salt

Fill clean, dry jars with cucumbers, peppers, pepper flakes, lemon zest, basil, ginger and garlic. Distribute as evenly as possible between your 3 jars.

In a large metal bowl combine water, vinegars, sugar and salt. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour evenly over 3 jars of cucumbers and seal tightly. Store in fridge for 2 days before eating. Will last about 3-4 months stored in fridge. These get hotter with age – and burn more the longer you chew them! Whew!

Cumin Beans

This recipe was inspired by one we read in VegNews (Then I went and lost the magazine! Duh! It’s at some recycling center… somewhere). We improvised and it came out something like this:

makes 3 quart jars

2 quart boxes of green beans and wax beans, washed and trimmed

9 cloves garlic

6 tsp. whole cumin seeds

1 1/2 cup water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1  Tbl. brown sugar

3/4 Tbl. salt

Fill clean, dry jars with beans, garlic and cumin seeds. Distribute as evenly as possible between your jars.

In a large metal bowl combine water, vinegars, sugar and salt. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour evenly over 3 jars of beans and seal tightly. Store in fridge for 2 days before eating. Will last about 3-4 months stored in fridge.

Standard Dills

makes 3 quart jars

3 large cucumbers, sliced into half-moons

1 cup fresh dill fronds

3 cloves garlic

1 1/2 cup water

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup champagne vinegar

1  Tbl. brown sugar

3/4 Tbl. salt

Fill clean, dry jars with cucumbers, dill and garlic. Distribute as evenly as possible between your 3 jars.

In a large metal bowl combine water, vinegars, sugar and salt. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour evenly over 3 jars of cucumbers and seal tightly. Store in fridge for 2 days before eating. Will last about 3-4 months stored in fridge.

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