Pickles

This is my house’s current favorite pickle.  A bit spicy, a bit sweet, and still a little crunchy.

This filled all the spare jars I had left after the giant marmalade making.. Normally I make only one large jar at a time, since I dislike the whole “canning process” with makeshift tools (submerging hot jars in boiling water for 15min and hoping they don’t fail at the last moment) and there was quite enough of that with the marmalade.  But some requests for pickles will be able to carry away their own, and I’m sure we’ll eat the rest anyway.

I like to slice the cucumbers, peppers, and onions super thin, (a sometimes painful process with a hand mandolin before my mother gifted me the awesome slices everything except my fingers machine) then toss them around in a bowl with a bit of sea salt to help the flavors begin the mingling process.  The final pickle seems tastier when the flavors have gotten to know each other a bit.

While the veggies exchange small talk, I start the brine..  This part is where it changes nearly every time.  Some days are more dilly than others, some are sweeter.. This time,  apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar (in nearly equal proportions, a little more vinegar than sugar) teamed up with several teaspoons of dill, some cumin, mustard, black pepper, thyme, thinly sliced garlic and sea salt.

I just toss it all together, and let it simmer until it smells like pickles.  Sharp, sweet, pickles.  Sometimes there will be a bay leaf or two, sometimes coriander.. a little of this or that until it smells good.  The basic recipe is very very forgiving. (vinegar+sugar in nearly equal proportions, salt).  Once the brine has simmered for about 20 min or so, start stuffing the veggies into jars (or jar depending on how much slicing has happened) not toooo stuffed, there needs to be room for brine to float around the veggies.

Then pour in the brine.  Because I like to use apple cider vinegar, instead of the distilled white vinegar.  AND brown sugar instead of white sugar, my pickles aren’t as pretty as they might otherwise be.  But I’m not looking to win any county fairs, and they look just fine in sandwiches, and tucked into the corner of my lunch box. =^.^=

Ack, that’s blurrier on my screen than it was on the camera… oi.. I’ll add photos as sandwiches and things happen =)    One of our house favorites: toasty ciabatta bread, a bit of mustard, pickles, and if we’re feeling super hungry some leftover turkey/chicken.

~TY

=^.^=

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