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”!