My vegetable garden has flourished this year. We are only hitting the end of June and I’ve had more success in just over a month than I’ve ever had with a vegetable garden. My cucumbers are almost out of control. In fact I’ve managed to collect anywhere from 2-6 cucumbers each day!
We’ve eaten them raw with veggie dip and made several cucumber salads. But I decided to try my hand at pickles as a means to preserve some of the bounty. I absolutely love pickles. Love, love, love! I have memories of going straight to my grandpa’s refrigerator and pulling out these gigantic dill pickles that we would sit and eat together. Making them myself seemed only natural.
Begin by cutting up your cucumbers. You can do rounds or spears – I did both.
Now you can create your own pickling spice but I chose to purchase a premixed spice since this was my first try at pickles. I found this one in the canning isle of the grocery store and it was under $5.
In a large pot bring to a boil 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of the pickling spice. When the mixture boils pour it over your cucumber slices.
Let the mixture cool over the cucumbers for about 30 minutes. Then, without cramming too many, fill your mason jars with cucumbers and pour remaining brine into the jars. You can store them in the fridge at this point for up to 3 months or you can put them in a water bath for 15 minutes and then store them for up to a year in your pantry.
We put ours in the fridge knowing there is no way they’ll last more than 3 months. The directions say to let them sit in the brine for at least two weeks before opening the jar and enjoying. We lasted a week before we busted into the jars – and oh my word were they delicious!!! I admit they taste different from what you get in the store because they’re not filled with chemicals. But the taste was much crisper and fresher than I expected.
Give these a try. I promise you’ll love them. And I know my grandpa reads my blog so I’m sure he’s uber-proud of his granddaughter’s pickle obsession!!