Ever since I was a little girl I have loved pickles. My parents knew if a pickle was on their plate in a restaurant, I would claim it as my own. Even when I was in college, my mom would stop at my favorite farm, Berberian’s, and get the best pickles in town (and do what with them? Send them to you? Save them for you? Eat them and then tell you how much she enjoyed them?). The love of pickles is in the genes and my boys now steal my pickles.
So when my garden gave us plentiful cukes, we made pickles. This is a great project for the whole family to get involved with. From picking the cukes all the way to helping make the brine.
This recipe is very easy recipe and has been tested by many of my pickle guru friends and family.
½ Sour, ½ Dill pickles:
6-8 small pickling cukes, washed
½ cup kosher salt
2 cups water
½ bunch dill
4 cloves garlic, pealed and smashed
1 ½ cups cider vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
Nolan was very excited to help make pickles, so he was the first to wash his hands. I filled up the sink with cold water and the cukes, gave him a veggie brush and he scrubbed away. While Nolan was working on the cukes, I called Jackson over to help at the stove. Now that he’s five, it’s a big treat to help at the stove to stir the pot. We added the salt and water to a saucepan, which was on medium heat, and stirred until the salt was dissolved. We removed the pan from the heat to cool.
I took my 8-quart crock-pot and added some 2 springs dill and 1-2 cloves garlic to the bottom of the crock. Then, Nolan helped add the cukes to the crock as I added the dill in between the layers and the rest of the garlic. Once the salt water was cooled, I added the white and cider vinegars to the saucepan and mixed. Next, we added the mixture to the crock-pot and topped with a small plate to weigh it down. We stored it in our basement, which is a cool dry place for 3-4 weeks. Once pickled, we put pickles in jars to store.
Now for my trick- once we were done with the pickles and had brine left over. I added some left over cut up cukes. These cukes only took 3-4 days to get the pickle flavor and were just as scrumptious. I might even try adding some green beans or green tomatoes next.
The kiddos really enjoyed this pickling project and they always ask to please pass the pickles!