Wednesday, August 14, 2013


There are cucumbers in the garden, and that means homemade pickles.
Canning scares some people. It screams of grandmas stuck over a stove during the hottest time of the year. The science behind it seems to promise that if you don't do everything JUST SO, you will contract botulism.
Botulism + old fashion grandma = canning is scary.
I'm here to walk you through it.  Even if you have never canned before, have no fear.  Let's be old fashioned together. Haven't you heard? Grandma is in. Canning is awesome.
You want to do this, trust me.
Pickling is a great way to start canning; it's both easy and quick. And you end up with little, vinegary, pickles, just to your taste. Like spicy? Add hot sauce. Garlic is your thing? Add it. Go beyond dill!
All you need are cucumbers and a brine. The brine is equal parts vinegar and sugar, boiled together. That's it.
Chop up your cukes.
Place them in glass jars. You'll want to pack them pretty tight. Pour over the brine. Add your flavors. I had three jars, and did: Salt and pepper pickles, spicy pickles, and garlic onion pickles.
They're ready to eat in about an hour, but taste even better after two days in the fridge. They normally last, refrigerated, for several weeks. Please use common sense for this.
There. Don't you feel wholesome and (in a good way!) grandma-ish? Old fashioned. Don't knock it till you try it (pickled).

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Adapted from Averie Cooks
4-6 cucumbers, sliced into 1/2 inch thick spears
3 cups of vinegar
3 cups of sugar

For Salt and Pepper Pickles:
2 tablespoons coarse salt, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
For Spicy Pickles:
2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
For Garlic and Onion Pickles:
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
5 whole garlic cloves
Pack cucumber spears in glass jars very tightly, add garlic and onion to one jar. Set jars aside. In a medium sauce pan, combine vinegar and sugar, and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Pour liquid over each jar to nearly the top (it might be helpful to pour from a spouted measuring cup; this is what I do). Add salt and pepper to one jar, and hot sauce to remaining jar. Seal lids tightly, and shake gently to distribute spices. Allow jars to cool on the counter and then refrigerate.

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