Monday, March 4, 2013

Making Fridge Pickles

We ran out of pickles. We'd have two jars in there. One jar had sweet minis (or something like that) and the other were sliced Claussen (again, or something like that). I had decided that once I was out of pickles I would just make my own because I really love knowing exactly what's in our food.

I have quite a few pins about making your own pickles but opted to use this one for the time being and the information found here at its source.

I went to the grocery store and picked up some organic cucumbers.

When I came home I soaked them in a 1:4 ratio of white vinegar and water to try to get any nastiness they may have encountered off of them and also to help them last even longer if I found myself without the time to make them that same day.

After an hour of soaking in that I rubbed the cucumbers all over with my hand, dumped out the water, and then cracked a tray of ice over top of the cucumbers and added water.
I did this with the intention of letting them soak in ice water for 4 hours to help make sure I had nice, crispy pickles.

Wanting to make sure the water stayed pretty frequently "iced" I came back from time to time to freshen up the ice situation in the bowl I was keeping the cucumbers in.

Then, I washed them with my Fit wash just to try to make sure they were good and clean.
Before I set to work I made sure to once again sterilize my jars. Now when you sterilize a jar and then put something in it you really should put the item into the jar as soon as you can after removing the jar from the hot water. Not wanting to crack my jars because I was soon going to be putting something less than boiling hot into it I let them sit while I worked. This was all really more a matter of me wanting them clean. They were already clean but they'd been sitting about so this is what made me feel best.
Cut off each end of your cucumber. Compost these later.
Then prick each cucumber 3 - 4 times with either a corn skewer or a fork their cans.
 My cucumbers were a pretty decent size as you can see so I just cut them all in half and hoped for the best when it came time to put them in their jars.
Each jar that will eventually be holding your cucumbers will need, a few peppercorns, 1 - 2 sprigs of dill,
and a sliced glove of garlic.
Four jars was just my estimate at how many I was going to need for this.
Here's an attempt at a close-up of the inside of one of the jars.
Pack the cucumber in as tightly as you can. They really don't need a lot of head room.
Now to make your brine; you will need 3 cups of vinegar, 9 cups of water, and 3/4 cup of kosher salt.
Bring this mix to a boil until the salt has dissolved.
Ladle your hot brine over the cucumbers, try to get any air bubbles out of there,
seal, and place in a water bath for 7 minutes.
When you took them out they didn't look a bit cloudy.
After a few days they should begin to look like pickles.

Now let this all sit for at least a month, you want to make sure the brine has gotten a sufficient chance to really do its job.

I intend to spend my month eyeballing them and wondering what terrific taste might possibly lay in store for me if I just continue to be patient.

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