I awoke Monday morning and felt it was only natural that I make use of the ridiculous amount of cucumbers chilling out in my fridge. This is a common occurance in the summer, overwhelming amounts of vegetables in my fridge I mean. I'll go to open the fridge for some hazelnut milk and instead my hand grabs the summit of a mountain of cucumbers. All the leftovers are buried underneath a hill of zucchini. And now that tomato season has just begun I'm anticipating an inundation of tomatoes that will probably flood my entire kitchen. There is no shortage of vegetables in this household on account of my grandmother's fruitfull garden and our just burgeoning one. Vegetables: it's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Not that I can complain. I figure it makes sense to binge on fruits and vegetables while they're actually seasonally available, overdose on nutrients and vitamins now, and then have a solid reserve to last me through the winter as I justifiably dine on roasted potatoes and mac and cheese. I realize it doesn't actually work that way but humor me.
But you know what does work? Pickles.
Pickles work on hamburgers. Pickles work with beer (especially guinness). Pickles work with a reuben. Pickles work fried. Pickles work in a russian potato salad. Pickles work straight out of the jar.
Work it pickles, work it.
Pickles (adapted from many different sources found by googling "canning pickles")
Ingredients (for roughly 16 cucumbers - adjust/divide/multiply accordingly)
- 16 medium sized cucumbers - depending on what size jar you are using you could can whole pickles. however mine wouldn't fit into the pint jars I was using so I cut the shorter cucumbers into spears and the longer ones into slices.
- 9 cups water
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 3/4 cup pickling salt
- lots of dill, pretend you're bringing flowers to your grandmother but instead of flowers it's dill - that's how much you want.
- 6 cloves of roughly chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dill weed
- 8 pint-size mason jars or 4 quart-size jars
- Sterilize the jars and lids accordingly in boiling water for 10 minutes. Leave in pot until ready to fill.
- Bring the water, vinegar, salt, mustard seed, peppercorns, and dill weed to a boil. You will need a large pot if following this recipe. Also do not use a stainless stell pot as it will make the vinegar cloudy. Instead use a teflon lined pot or something of the sort.
- Remove the jars one at a time and fill with cucumber spears or slices (or whole cucumbers).
- Add in a few sprigs of dill (or more depending on how dilly you want your pickles) and a few garlic pieces to each jar.
- Add brine to the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch of headroom.
- Wipe rim of jar until clean, place sterilized seal on jar, then tighten ring just until resistence is met.
- Place into boiling water bath for 15 minutes. The water should cover the top of the jars by about 1/2 to 1 inch
- Remove from water bath and let stand for 24-48 hours before removing rings or storing. The seals will be concave when sealed.
- The pickles should last unopened for a year if sealed correctly. I'd recommend sticking a jar in the fridge for a bit before eating them. Pickles just seem crisper and tastier if they're cold.