Our Favorite Things: Pickles, Pickles and More Pickles!
Jul 23, 2014 07:19PM ● Published by Laura Ustanovska
Every year we visit the wonderful West Allis Farmer’s Market. There we can have our pick of uniform sized pickling cucumbers and fragrant fresh dill. Even though we have an extensive garden, it is hard to grow enough pickling cucumbers that are similar in size. After the pickles reach the preferred sourness in the crock, we pack them in half gallon mason jars and store them covered in the refrigerator. We just finished the last jar, and they were still crisp and delicious. The grandchildren devour them, so it’s a miracle there are any left. They also make a wonderful gift at any time of year.
What you need is a crock, water, salt, garlic, fresh dill with seeds and the pickling cucumbers. The recipe is for 2 ½ lbs of cucumbers, but you can pickle much larger amounts providing you have a big crock and a family of pickle lovers. The standard method is to cover the cucumbers with brine, put a weight (plate) on top and let sit at room temperature until desired sourness. Then transfer pickles to jars, cover again with the brine and refrigerate. Refrigeration slows down the pickling rate. Don’t be afraid to try it. If you don’t want to invest in a crock (hardware stores have them), try a glass bowl. Good luck!
12 pickling cucumbers (about 3-4 inches)
1 large clove garlic unpeeled and smashed or peeled and left whole for milder taste
6-8 sprigs of dill – we use a lot!
¼ C kosher salt
¼ C white vinegar
2 ½ quarts water
Thoroughly scrub and clean cucumbers in cold water. Flatten the unpeeled garlic with the back of a knife. Wash the dill.
Layer cucumbers, dill and garlic in crock.
Bring the salt, vinegar and water to a boil, and boil 2 minutes.
Pour brine over the cucumbers, and weight down with a plate and some heavy cans. The brine should be at least 1 inch above the cucumbers.
Start testing after 3 days. The point at which the cucumbers are considered done really depends upon your taste. When desired sourness is to your liking, pack the jars with pickles and fill with brine, garlic and dill. Cover and refrigerate!
1 jar of dill pickles (2 quarts)
3 C sugar
1 C vinegar
½ C water
Drain pickles and slice pickles into ¼ inch rounds; return to jar.
Bring sugar, vinegar and water to full boil. Pour over pickles, and allow to cool. Do not cover.
Pour cooled liquid BACK in pan, and repeat process two more times.
After cooled the third time, cover and chill in refrigerator.