In a Pickle

This was the last big cooking project before the madness set in:

Last year, I attempted to make dill pickles and what I ended up with were sweet and sour pickles.  They were good, but they were not what I had in mind.  This year, I decided to try again, using the Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe from Food in Jars.  I like making pickles largely because it is so nice to get something done.  My dissertation is never ending.  Course prep is never really done.  But with 30 minutes of time well spent, maybe 45 minutes, I can make a winter’s supply of pickles.

Pickles take about 6 weeks or so to fully pickle, so it will take a while to see if I like this recipe better than the last one.  In the meantime, I am going to make a set of kosher dills as well, in case they are more what I have in mind.  (Kosher dills do not have vinegar, the garlic dills do.  The kosher rules around wine and vinegar are complicated–in general, anyone can make a food and have it be kosher.  In order for grape products to be kosher, they must be untouched by gentile hands.  As a result, most wine and vinegar, etc is not kosher.  “Kosher dills” have a salt brine rather than a vinegar brine.  Totally different pickle and perhaps next weekend’s project.

Prepping the jars: you can see the spices and the garlic are already in.

I had two batches of cucumbers, the first from the grocery store, the second from my local CSA.  I cut one set into rounds, like so:

(gratuitous cucumber photos)

and the other set into spears:

Unfortunately, I did not label the jars, and so now I do not know which pickles are local and organic and which are not.   I made a brine out of cider vinegar and salt.

I sterilized the jars in the dishwasher, but the lids get sterilized on the stove.

The jars get processed in a water bath, for 10 minutes.

And then out they come.

As the jars cool, they make this wonderful little pining noise that tell you that they made a proper seal.

Postscripts:

It has been longer than six weeks and these pickles are  I am pretty sure that they just get stronger and stronger, so they will be fairly intense come spring.  You can retard that process by keeping the jars cool, but they are simply sitting on my counter.  I never did make the salt brine pickles, so I suppose that will be next year.

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3 Comments

Filed under Canning, Cooking, Uncategorized

3 responses to “In a Pickle

  1. RadinBrooklyn

    I am having major pickle envy. There, I said it.

  2. Kelly in Beantown

    Well said, Rad! More pickle envy here. We go through a lot of pickles — my kid says “they’re for breakfast” — and you just made me want to buy canning supplies.

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