I have a very small garden this year. I’ve got my three rhubarb plants, which have done nicely, four pepper plants, which haven’t after a bounteous year last year, and two cucumber plants. On Sunday, I finally had four cucumbers ripe all at once. With that bounty, I decided to try my hand at pickling.
Notice I didn’t say canning. Now I know canning is a valuable skill, and I’m sure I’ll regret it when global catastrophe hits, we no longer have refrigeration, and have to submit to our new cruel Amish overlords, with their ample supplies of canned goods to hold them over while the rest of us starve.
I remember my mom and grandma canning things as a child, and I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to buy jars, make sure they are disinfected, boil things, make sure lids are sealed, and place them into a dusty basement. I want to eat my things now. Also, notice I have only two cucumber plants. That’s one jar.
Fresh pickles are something I’ve seen in Poland, and I thought I’d try my hand at here. So, I went to the great Internet cookbook and found a nice recipe for pickles. After buying the necessary spices (ALL ON SALE FOR $1 EACH!!!) I set to work.
I sliced the pickles into chips and put some salt on them to draw out the water. I also added my lonely jalapeno(see below), which is the only one I’ve harvested this year. Finally I cut up about half a red pepper into small bits for a bit of color in my pickles. We then proceeded to try the old Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers tongue twister out, being so inspired by our efforts.
MY LONELY JALEPENO!
The wonderful daughter mixed the water, vinegar, salt, sugar, into a saucepan. Once it started to boil, I added the spices and set it off the heat to let it cool for five minutes.
Next I poured it over the cukes, and added a packet of dill.
Finally, I put it in the fridge and waited until tonight to dig in. The picture below shows how the bowl looked after 24 hours in the fridge.
How were they?
Well, they were crunchy and a bit sour with a hint of heat at the end. I also thought they were a bit too garlicky. I definitely would cut back on the garlic next time. Also, next time I think I’d double the sugar. I really have grown to like sweet pickles. The next time, I might try to make a batch of sweet pickles instead.
The kids, on the other hand, loved the pickles. The delightful son exclaimed, “These are the best pickles ever!”
So there you go. It may not last forever, sure they aren’t canned, and yes the Amish may shun me for my laziness, but they’re fresh and homemade. If you have about an hour to kill, you can make them too!