A lot of people have asked, and it’s a lot easier to show than tell, so here is my recipe for making pickles. Here’s everything you need:
All you need is a cucumber (different kinds have different crunches) a good knife; a little garlic; a little onion; plenty of dill (fresh or not), salt, and vinegar (I use Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar); a good jar (sealing or mason). So, let’s get started.
You can cut your cucumbers in a number of ways, but I’ve been doing slices because they stack easier and you can put them in sandwiches or just chomp on them. I usually keep the end slices and throw them in on the top to test the pickles as they develop.
When I’m done cutting up the cucumber, I take the dill, put about a third in the bottom of the jar, a third in the middle, and the rest on the top. Usually I cut the stems off the dill, if only to save room. I didn’t have a ton of dill this time, so I only put it on the top and bottom. It doesn’t have to be fresh, but, like everything, the fresher the better.
After it’s all stacked, I put the onion and maybe two garlic cloves (peeled) on top.
Then I make up brine, about a cup at a time, because I never know how much I need. For every cup of water, add two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of salt. Make sure you stir up the salt, even as you pour it into the jar. I needed three cups of brine for this jar.
Here’s the jar full of brine. Below is me with my newly completed jar. Now, since this is not the quick press method (where you pour the boiling brine over the cukes), you keep the jar out, unrefrigerated, for about 1-2 weeks. It depends on how hot it is. If it’s about 70 degrees, it can take two weeks, but if it’s hotter, than it will take less time. Every day, you should open up every jar and look for any “scum” to scrape off. You’ll know it when you see it. After a few days, try a pickle and see how the flavoring is. The crunchiness won’t be right because most of that comes in the refrigerator. Once it tastes close to right, you should refrigerate. The pickles will continue to mature and get more delicious in the fridge. If you wait too long before refrigeration, they can start to decline. It sounds hard, but it’s not. Good luck, and Happy Pickling!