August 07, 2007


I remember my gramma making these in the summer with cucumbers from her garden. You do need garden cukes, the store ones are waxed to preserve them. Sometimes stores will carry pickling cukes tho. If you see those and dont grow your own thats what you need to buy to make these.


1 Quart 3- to 5-inch Pickling Cucumbers
1 Tablespoon Pickling Salt
2 Tablespoons White or Red Wine Vinegar
1 Fresh Head and 1 Frond of Dill
4 Cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
About 2 cups water

1. Insert a sharp knife near one end and slit the cucumbers through lengthwise, leaving both ends intact. Put the salt, vinegar, dill and garlic into a narrow-mouth quart jar. Pack the cucumbers into the jar so they won't float, leaving 1 inch head space. Cover the cucumbers with water. Cap the jar with a nonreactive lid and give it a shake to dissolve the salt. After the salt has dissolved, loosen the lid so that gases can escape. Place the jar outdoors in the sun or in a sunny window (put a dish under it if seeping brine might do some damage). If you set the jar outdoors, bring it in at night.

2. Within 3 days you should see tiny bubbles rising in the jar; this means that fermentation has begun. The pickles should be ready within 5 days, when the tiny bubbles have stopped rising. Chill them, and enjoy. They will keep in the refrigerator for many weeks.

***pickling salt = canning salt = canning and pickling salt
Notes: This is similar to table salt, but lacks the iodine and anti-caking additives that turn pickles dark and the pickling liquid cloudy. Pickles made with table salt would still be good to eat, but they wouldn't look as appetizing. Pickling salt is available in large bags or boxes in supermarkets, but it's hard to find in cities. In addition to pickling or canning with it, you can also use pickling salt just as you would ordinary table salt, though without the anti-caking agents it may get lumpy if exposed to moisture.

To prevent lumps, put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker. To get rid of lumps, spread the salt on a cookie sheet and bake in an oven. Don't substitute reduced-sodium salt for pickling salt when making pickles. Substitutes: kosher salt (Since it's not as dense as pickling salt, you'll need to use more, but how much more varies by brand. 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of Morton KosherSalt = 1 cup Morton Canning & Pickling Salt. For other brands, it's best to measure by weight rather than volume.) OR table salt (The iodine in table salt may turn your pickles dark, and the anti-caking agents may turn the pickling liquid cloudy.)

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