A very kind friend of mine recently gave me a whole bag of pickling cucumbers. I was so thrilled, but clueless, so I put in an immediate call to my mother, who put in a call to her mother and a recipe was produced!
The whole process of making pickles can take you deep into the night, unless you do a little planning ahead.
Grandma Marge’s Pickles
Pickling Cucumbers, 3-4 inches long or less, they should be darker green, with plenty of warts still on them.
2 c. Sugar
2 c. Water
6 c. Vinegar distilled white, with 5% acidity
1/2 c. Salt
1 Bunch of Dill
Red Pepper Flakes
1-2 cloves of garlic for each jar
* This should be enough for about 6 pints*
First of all, you want to scrub down all your pickling cucumbers, get off all the dirt and toss them in some ice water. I literally filled bowls with water and ice cubes, and put them in the fridge for 2-3 hours. The ice bath is supposed to make the final product crunchy, and I wanted those babies crunchy.
Next you want to sanitize your jars. I put mine in the dishwasher since I do not believe in washing dishes if at all possible, just ask my husband.
Then you can start peeling your garlic, I got a bit carried away. I am going to reek of garlic until the Rapture! Oh boy.
Once your jars are sanitized you can start getting them ready for the brine. First put in a sprig or two of dill and garlic in the bottom, then start packing in your pickles as tightly as possible. If your pickles are bigger, you can cut them into spears, the rest you can keep whole. Do not pack the pickles any higher than 1/4- 1/2 inch from the top.
Bring to a boil the sugar, salt, water, and vinegar.
Make sure your salt says this:
Next soften your lids, you want them at your reach in a bowl or pie plate filled with boiling hot water so the seal is soft when you place them on the jar.
Once your brine is boiling you can start ladling it into your prepared jars. Do not fill higher than 1/4-1/2 inch from the top, but make sure all the pickles are submerged. Quickly wipe down the lids, and the rims of any drips and screw the lids on tightly. Be careful not to bump or move the jars, as you want the jars to seal.
This dog did no pickling, he just laid out all day getting his tan. What a bum!
* One small caveat: I have not actually tasted these pickles, and I am actually not even sure if my jars sealed properly. But, Grandma Marge seems to have a pretty good handle on the kitchen and it’s practices… so you’re probably safe! :)*
One last thing, I have a jar of pickles for anyone who can tell me why Iodine is a necessary nutrient! Woo hoo!