July 16, 2013

That's a Dilly of a Pickle!

Hi diddily ho bloggerinos!    We're both huge fans of pickles, and since we got a few kirby cucumbers in our last share, it seemed like the perfect time to try to make them. We searched the interwebs for some recipes and settled on this one and this one, plus we added a few of our own spices.

Start by washing your cucumbers, and making sure they don't have any dirt on them. Since our jars are still full of kimchi and saurkraut and we don't have canning supplies, we just used a plastic container with a lid.  Any airtight container should work, as long as it's been sterilized.

For the pickling liquid, we mainly followed Alton Brown's suggestions...mixing up a brine, though we did add a splash of vinegar.  For spices, we roughly chopped up about 6 cloves of garlic, and added in red chili flake, mustard seeds, carraway seeds, black peppercorns and a whole bunch of dill.
Once your spices are in your container, stuff your cucumbers in there.  You want to make sure they are nice and snug in the container.  Then, pour in your brine so the cucumbers are completely submerged.  If the cucumbers are nice and snug, they're less likely to float to the top when you pour in your brine.  Then just place your lid on the container, and make sure you get as much air out of it as possible.
Now you'll have to be patient, and let your cucumbers pickle.  Store them in a cool dry place.  We just placed ours in one of the kitchen cabinets, away from the stove.  After about 3 days, you'll notice bubbles rising to the top of your container.  This is proof that fermentation has begun, and you're on your way to having pickles!  If you notice any scum forming in the top of your pickling liquid, wipe it off immediately.  We noticed some white film on one of our pickles, so we wiped it off with a paper towel that was soaked in a little vinegar.

Fermentation should be complete in about 6-7 days, once the bubbles stop rising and your pickles taste sour.  Then transfer them to the refrigerator, and start to enjoy them!  If any of the pickles get soft or start to smell funny, you should discard them.  Ours came out nice and garlicky, with a slight heat to them.  They're the perfect snack or or sandwich companion!

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