Tuesday, August 23, 2011

birthday pickles

this past weekend, i celebrated my birthday and the birthdays of two good friends with a picnic in the park. i made fried chicken, biscuits, a certain southern lady's amazing pimento cheese, and about a month before the picnic i made a big batch of refrigerator pickles. everyone brought tons of food: abby made a gorgeous caprese salad from her home-grown tomatoes, kate made delicious ricotta toasts, and lisa's butterscotch cookies were to die for. my pickle-crazy friend matt brought a great relish and a few other pickled items, lynn brought a fantastic eggplant dip and the other birthday girl tia made a kick-ass mango salsa. chris's korean-style barbeque ribs were probably the biggest hit of the picnic, and i like to flatter myself that the pickles were a close second.

before setting out the recipe for the pickles, i'd like to note that this recipe is NOT appropriate for canning. i haven't tested the pH and i'm sure there's not enough vinegar to make long term storage outside of the fridge safe. if you want a recipe for pickles appropriate for canning, i'd check out a canning-basics cookbook. the national center home food preservation's website is a great resource for canning and i like food in jars and mrs. wheelbarrow's kitchen for recipes.

the following portions should create one pint of pickles. feel free to increase the amounts incrementally to make a quart or several pints of pickles. they'll go quickly.

3-4 kirby cucumbers - sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 clove garlic - sliced thinly
1-2 sprigs of fresh dill

place dill into the jar along the sides and pack the slices of cucumber into the jar. intersperse the cucumbers with garlic slices and toss the mustard seeds into the jar when it is half filled with cucumbers. pack the cucumbers into the jar until 1/2 inch head space remains. pour the hot brine (see below) over the cucumbers and place the lid on the jar. let sit out until the jar is room temperature and then place in the fridge. let the pickles sit for at least a couple of days before opening and eating.

2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

combine the above ingredients in a non-reactive pot and bring to a simmer until the salt and sugar have fully dissolved.

1 comment:

Brian G. said...

Looking forward to trying that biscuit recipe!