In…a Pickle.

Ok.  I will keep this short and sweet.  Well, not really sweet, but maybe dilly and garlicky.  Do you love a good, crunchy, garlicky dill pickle?  Obsessed with that elusive accompaniment to the sandwich or burger or dog like I am?  Well…as for those store brands, fuggedaboutit.  Make your own!  Tonight, I did, and it was easy-peasy lemon SQUEEEEEZAYYY.

Here’s the deal.  You need to start with a good cuke.  A pickling cuke.  So hit your local farmer’s market.  I hit mine yesterday on my way home from work.  I bought 6 Kirby Cucumbers, and a bunch of fresh dill weed.  Tonight, while cooking dinner, I boiled 1 cup of apple cider vinegar (you can use white vinegar too!), 1 cup of bottled water, some peppercorns, and about 3-4 tablespoons of Kosher salt (can use Sea Salt or any quality grind).  While that was heating up, I washed my cukes, and cut off the ends.  Then I cut just about 4 of them up into spears.  I washed my dill weed (for which you may substitute dill SEED), and took the skin off of about 6 garlic cloves, and halved them.  I prepared two glass jars by washing jar and lid in hot water.  At the bottom of each jar, I placed a good handful of dill, 3 halved garlic cloves, a generous two shakes of red pepper flakes (I like a little “hmmm”), and some peppercorns.  I packed my cuke spears in each jar, and then poured the brine over them almost to the top of the jar.  They then hung out on my counter so I could photograph them, which was ample time for them to cool down enough to throw in the fridge.  They will sit for a few days in the fridge, absorbing all that briny, garlicky, spicy goodness, and then I will pop open a jar, and proceed to make a small meal out of them.

So, if you find yourself in a pickle as to what to pair with your sandwich, get thee to that farmer’s market in your Westchester town, grab some cukes, and jar them!  Just enjoy within about 2-3 weeks of canning, since they are not really “preserved”.  For that discussion, visit us back in a few months.  By then, we just might have a tutorial for you on proper “putting up”!

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