Sunday, July 17, 2011

Homemade Dill Pickles


I'm a pickle fan....if dill pickles had a facebook page, I'd 'like' them for sure! I've always wanted to can something...or pickle something....or somehow excuse the wall of glass in my garage that is my mason jar collections....which have never jarred anything but cake, and lemonaide in their little jar life....with a side of rubber duck in the bathroom.
In an attempt to avoid cleaning my house (mission accomplished on that score)....I pickled some pickles.
I googled a recipe...and googled from there...and so on...and so forth. Then I tossed out most of what I read and just threw some cucumbers in a jar, and it all worked out well enough for me to be able to check 'homemade pickles' off my list.
Here's the process I used....
A lot of the recipes call for pickling cucumbers, which are smaller than....well this...

All I found in my intensive search at one whole grocery story was a larger cucumber, so I decided I'd use this guy and go with a pickle spear.....
I sliced him up....and got this...

I know that picture was necessary, but food doesn't complain when you take it's picture, so sometimes I get carried away.
All the spears from one medium cucumber fit in one mason jar. I had put 2 garlic cloves, and dill at the bottom of each jar (3 total). It actually called for a spring of fresh dill in the bottom of each jar too, but I didn't see it off hand at that one store I dragged myself too, and so I just added dried dill from the aging jar in my pantry. Sure, it floated around and was sort of stuck to the pickles a little bit when I pulled them out, but they are for my consumption alone....and trust me, that jar of dill needs a bigger purpose in it's life. Plus, dill and cucumbers are friends, I read it in a book once.
I then made the following 'pickling' mix: 2 quarts of water, 1 c. vinegar, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/3 c. kosher salt. I put it in a pan, brought it to a boil, and stirred until everything dissolved. I then turned it off, and let the mix cool almost completely before pouring it over the cucumbers in the jar (just so they wouldn't 'cook'). The recipe said it makes three jars of pickles....
You are supposed to house the pickles in their solution for 3-7 days before eating. A lot of recipes also said to place a grape leaf into each jar before sealing it for the alloted pickling time. Apparently grape leaves help a pickle stay crispy. I didn't do this, and my pickles still crunched....but I only didn't do it b/c I have no idea where to acquire a grape leaf. It was not a rebelious pickling point. I'm still a fan of the dill pickle, despite my attempt to abuse him.

3 comments:

tt.scraps said...

Hmmm. Sounds easier than expected. We love our dills although we firstvsaw dill pickle (Mr. Pickle) stands when we vacationed in San Antonio. We cracked up that they sold them at the movie theatre and Sea World! Of course we had to partake. My daughter even drinks the juice! :)

Erin said...

Oh yum! We made pickles last summer and I went a little over board! I think we still have about 29 jars left! But they are so darn good homemade!

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

This would make a great take-home favor from a cookout party!