Saturday, April 30, 2011

Basic (but perfect) Cucumber Dill Pickles

When I was a little girl, I thought pickles were special. If I was a really really good girl, I got them added to my tuna and white bread sandwiches. I was never allowed to eat all the pickles (though I tried) so I always considered pickles a real treat. These pickles almost cost me nothing and they taste way better than any commercial pickles I've ever stolen in the dark.

This recipe is for the amount shown, just two jars. I find making them often as opposed to big batches (unless doing proper canning, this is the refrigerator method) makes for tastier pickles. Great to do with leftover garden cukes on a casual Saturday afternoon; ready just in time for a Sunday roast and even better the next week.

1 cup 5% acidic vinegar
2 cups water
3 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 cucumbers, room temperature.
2 dill fronds
4 garlic cloves
4 dried chillis

Sterilize jars by placing them in cold water and bringing to boil for five minutes. Place in low-heat oven to keep hot while preparing pickles.

Boil vinegar, water and salt on stovetop. Meanwhile, crush garlic and place with dill and chillis into bottom of sterilized jars. Chop cucumber into 1/2 widthwise then 8ths lengthwise, scraping out seeds as you go. It's okay to leave some in, as I really like the texture of them, but I find cucumbers a bit too seedy for pickles. There's specific pickling cucumbers, but I like this recipe because it's perfect for regular ones. I think pickling cucumbers taste best as both sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles to go with something like silverside and homemade mayonnaise. Something like this is best eaten straight or with incredibly unhealthy things.

Shove cucumbers into jars. Really stuff them in. Stuff them so hard it becomes an internet meme. Yeah, I said it. They will shrink when pickled. Don't worry, the jar can take it. I've seen it take bigger things. Badum.

When sugar has completely dissolved, pour into hot filled jars slowly, leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the jar and lid down and close. Leave on counter to cool and the refrigerate. Will be ready in a day! Voila! Pickles! Just like the ones you ate as a kid, but with less funny crap in it.

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