Refrigerator Dill Pickles

August 24, 2011

I get really emotional when I eat pickles. Homemade ones, of course.

I can and pickle for experience of it, more than for the end product.  It’s how I give myself a little Spring, Summer, or Fall in the dead of Winter. Every time I open a jar, I close my eyes and try very hard to remember the details the day. How hot was it? What did the leaves look like in the tree outside our window? What did we wear? Each jar gives me a little rush of nostalgia.

The jar of pickles I made Saturday has a special significance. I made these on the very last weekend of our summer. That is, the very last weekend before Will started school again. Let me tell you about it.

The best way to combat the doldrums of adulthood is to pretend you are a child, but have budget and transportation of an adult. We spent Sunday doing only what we wanted. We woke up late. We went mini-golfing, drove Go Karts, and played Skeeball. We exchanged the Skeeball tickets we won for crazy straws and temporary tatoos. Instead of eating lunch, we ate Blizzards at Dairy Queen (Snickers for me, Heathbar for Will). We went to go see Bridesmaids at the discount movie theatre. I skipped my shower, because I didn’t want to wash off my frog and lizard tattoos.

And I made these pickles. And with every precise (or slightly imprecise) slice of cucumber, with every lid I screwed on nice and tight, I meditated on each moment of our wonderful day.

Opening this jar will be so very nice.

REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES (from Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving’sRefrigerator Dill Slices)

Yields about 5 pint jars of pickles

Though I haven’t tasted the finished product yet, I am certain these will be amazing. I ate a pickle or two before I put them in a jar. Yes, that means I ate it when it was a hot, briny cucumber. But my oh my, what a wonderful combination of salty and sour. It will be hard to wait the full 2 weeks.

Ingredients

8 1/4 cups sliced trimmed pickling cucumbers (1/4 inch/0.5cm slices)

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups water

6 tbsp pickling or canning salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp pickling spice (available in the spice aisle of well-stocked supermarkets)

7 1/2 tsp dill seeds

5 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns

5 cloves garlic, halved

Recipe

1. Put cucumber slices in a large heatproof bowl.

2. Combine vinegar, water, pickling salt, sugar, and pickling spice in the saucepan in a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium high heat and stir occasionally until sugar and salt dissolve. Let the mixture come to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Boil gently for 10 minutes.

3. Pour the hot brine over cucumbers. Cover the bowl with waxed paper and let it rest until the mixture cools to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

4. In each mason jar, place 1 1/2 tsp dill seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, and 2 garlic clove halves. Fill jars with cucumber slices until they are 1/2 inch from the top. Pour pickling liquid into each jar until the liquid covers the cucumbers. Leave 1/2 inch headspace from the rim of the jar. Screw lids onto jars. Place in refrigerator. Allow cucumbers to marinate at least 2 weeks. Use within 3 months.

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One Response to “Refrigerator Dill Pickles”

  1. Louise Plonowski Says:

    I taste the pure joy in your blog!


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