[FONT=Palatino Linotype]It's the start of June and I wait until the catalpa trees start blooming before I plant my cucumbers to avoid bacterial wilt. The catalpas will most likely bloom this week. With that in mind, I'm thinking ahead to the pickles that we make. The kids love them. One key is to process the cucumbers right away when you bring them in. Have your brine mixed ahead of time. If you wait even a day, they'll turn out less than crunchy. Also, use a good pickle variety of cucumber with a small seed pod. We've found smaller cukes make better pickles. These last for at least 6 months if kept in the fridge.Here's our recipe:[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia]First, make a brine:
3 quarts of good water (not heavily chlorinated or skunky water. Use distilled if necessary)
1 pint of white vinegar
1/2 cup uniodized salt (do not use iodized as the iodine will make the pickles taste like shit)
1 Tablespoon pure cane sugar
Mix together in large stainless bowl (do not use aluminum or copper) until salt and sugar is dissolved.
Once you make your brine, clean & cut up your cucumbers however you like and pack into clean canning jars. Pour brine over them until the cucumbers are covered and there is just a bit of headspace at the top. Into each jar I put the following:
1 Tablespoon of pickling spice (I use Watkins)
1 Tablespoon of garlic granules (minced garlic)
1 Tablespoon of good quality dill (I use Watkins)Note: If you use fresh, adjust amount as necessary
1 Tablespoon of minced onion
To make spicy, I chop up two green "salsa peppers" coarsely and remove the pith and stem. Throw the chopped pepper into the jar. Also add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes to taste.
Put the lids on tight and shake the shit out of the jar. Let set out on the counter for about 24 hours, then put in the refrigerator. Ready after 48 hours.[/FONT]
Good spot to share recipes, talk about baking, etc.
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