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Thursday, July 7, 2011

In A Pickle

Cucumber fans unite!
Well, if you would like to turn them into pickles, that is.
My favorite way to munch a cucumber.
Mmmm, the salty brine, the sweet and spicy.
Wow, I want some pickles!
First, of course, start with some cucumbers.
These are the small minis that come wrapped in a little package.

Gather up some pickling items.
I had no clue, but most of the stuff I already had in my pantry.
Just had to pick up those yummy pickling spices.
Mine came from Whole Foods.
My recipe donator (see below) got his at Williams Sonoma.
I tasted both and both were tasty, so go with what you can find.

So, I have never made pickles.
If you are like me, then this is a great way to start with refrigerator pickles.
Lulu's Cole gave me the recipe and I was able to sample before making.
That always makes a recipe worth trying, when you know it's good.
You, on the other hand, will just have to trust me.

Slice the cucumbers and salt then put in fridge for a couple of hours.
Rinse and lay them out on a kitchen towell to absorb some of the juices that the salt brings out.

Okay, this was fun, and looks so pretty on my tomato towell.
Photogenic cucumbers.

Add the pickling spices and other ingredients to vinegar
in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil.

Once they start to boil, then simmer on low to get out all those great flavors.
Smells good!

Add some cucumbers to prepared (washed) jars.
Cole makes his in one big jar, but I went with the four jelly size.
Add some of the liquid.
We are layering here.

I acquired some canning jars from Farmer Gibson.
He's our chicken farmer friend.
I don't know how he knew I needed them for pickles, but hey.

Bird's eye view, with another layer cucumbers.

More liquid and I added the cucumber and onion salad that was left over from the day before.
Onions pickled, that's good also.

Put the lids on and refrigerate immediately.
You can eat these delicious babies as soon as they cool.
No waiting around.
Good, because it's hard to wait.

Let me just say, crunchy, sweet, spicy, can't stop eating, once you start.

Thanks Cole for the recipe!

Details below.

Refrigerator Pickles

1 1/2 lbs. cucumbers, sliced (That's about two of the mini packages.)
3 cups vinegar (I used Apple Cider vinegar.)
3 cups sugar
2-3 T. pickling spices of your choice
1 Bay leaf
Pinch of crushed red pepper
4-5 Garlic cloves

Toss cucumbers in 1 1/2 t. of kosher salt,  Keep in fridge for 2-3 hours.  Rinse cucumbers to remove salt and pat dry.  (Lay out on the towell and use another towell to pat, like above.)

Bring vinegar, sugar, pickling spices, garlic, bay leaves and pepper to a boil.  Simmer very low for 15-20 minutes to steep.  Add layer of cucumbers to a huge jar.  Pour some liquid on top, then continue layering until you run out of cucumbers.

Refrigerate after sealing jar(s) and eat up!

Side note:  With the canning jars, the lids seal because you are putting the hot pickles in the fridge.  Cole uses one of those flip-top lid jars with the rubber seal.  So, go with what you got.  Hope you enjoy, mine are already gone.

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