The pregnancy stereotypes are true: I want pickles (though not with ice-cream)! And not just any pickles. I want dill pickles. Of course, there are none to be found in our town. There are, however, mounds and mounds (quite literally) of little pickling-perfect cucumbers at our market. So I bought a few to experiment with making some simple, no-canning-required, pickles this weekend.
Three days later, they are perfect. Apparently you can pickle any hard vegetable this way (radishes, carrots, etc.) and use any kind of herbs and spices that suit your fancy. There are lots of pickling methods – so please comment if you have any advice!
I drew from a bunch of recipes I found on-line, and this is what I did to make 2-3 jars of pickles:
(1) Wash cucumbers (the short kind) well and soak in ice-water.
(2) Clean your jars: Place glass jars (mine are old pb&j cars) and lids in a big pot of water and let it come to a boil for a bit. Look up more info on sterilization if you like things super-sterile.
(2) Boil together: 1 cup white vinegar + 3 cups water + 1 teaspoon salt + a bit of sugar (some people like more)
(3) Slice off ends of cucumbers, then cut them into pickle-ish wedges. Pack them into jars. I found that I could fit about 2 cucumbers per jar.
(4) Into each jar add: 1 big spoon-full of dill (I only had dried available, but I’m sure fresh dill is better!) + one garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half + a pinch of turmeric + a pinch of mustard seeds.
(5) Pour simmering liquid into each jar, making sure the tops of the cucumber wedges are completely covered. There should be about 1/4″ of room above the liquid.
(6) Screw on the lids, and let the jars sit at room temperature for about 2-3 hours. Then place them in the fridge. In just 2-3 days your pickles will be ready! The flavor gets better as the week goes on.