just a smidgen

The Art of Pickle

A trip to the market yielded these…and these

one of these

a bouquet of weeds and a bowl of spices

plopped into jars while a brine simmered

pickles wedged and jostled for space

then brine bathed and simmered

finally plucked out… 12 little jar in two straight lines

 

they left the brine at half past 9…

I was so nervous about opening the first jar of my first ever batch of pickles! My research informed me that some pickles never, er.. pickle. The crux of the problem is that a pickle can, in fact, lack a healthy crunch when chomped on. I’m still not certain why.. perhaps one of you can enlighten me?

The results.. well, my Fickle Spicy Pickles could have stood up a little straighter when they came out of the jar.. alas, there was a bit of drunken wobble in them. But all in all, they gave a satisfying, yet delicate crunch when bit into and were piquant and herbaceous to taste. Quiet fiery, in fact, if you wanted a more subdued spice, simply add less red pepper flakes.

I’ve yet to open my regular Philly Dill Pickles, fingers are crossed that they are more “rigid”!

If I was forced to choose a favorite.. I think that may put me in a bit of a quandary, er.. pickle!

Note: When buying my cucumbers, I selected those that looked about the height of my jar. They were packed at the market in a bag that looked like it would just about fill my four jars perfectly.. so I didn’t bother weighing or measuring my cucumbers.

Prepare your jars as outlined here.

Fiery Spicy Pickles
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large pint (800 g) picking cucumbers, the height of your jars,
  • flowering end (small end) lopped off and then cut into spears lengthwise
  • 8 small garlic cloves, peeled, divided (2 cloves per jar)
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns (1/2 tsp per jar)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp per jar)
  • fresh dill sprigs, cut to height of jar (1 per jar)
  • Brine
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tsp pickling salt
  • 2 tsp pickling spice
  • cheese cloth square
Instructions
  1. Prepare 4 500ml jars as outlined here. Simmer lids over low heat, do not boil.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix together the cider vinegar, water and pickling salt.
  3. Wrap up 2 tsp pickling spice in a small square of cheesecloth. Tie spice sachet tight then drop in.Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 15 minutes then remove and discard sachet.
  4. Into each sterilized jar, pop 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp black peppercorns and 1 stem of dill weed.
  5. Pack the pickling cucumbers vertically into the jars, squeezing them tightly. Divide all the pickles between the four jars evenly.
  6. Carefully pour the brine into a heat-resistant measuring cup with spout. Then pour the brine into each of the four jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-room at the top. Poke and move the pickles gently with a sterilized stick to remove any air pockets that have formed. Top up the jars with brine as needed.
  7. Wipe the mouth of the jars clean, top with heated lids and gently hand-turn rings on top. Do not over-tighten.
  8. Lower gently into boiling water in the canner and let the jars process for 5 minutes once the water has begun to boil again… add more time depending on your elevation. Check for exra time on the altitude chart found here…
  9. Remove from water without tilting and allow to cool on tea towel or metal rack. Check for popping as the lids seal. The center of the lids will depress. Once cooled, wipe clean and leave undisturbed for 7 days before eating.
  10. Adapted from Food in Jars

Philly's Dill Pickles
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large pint (800 g) pickling cucumbers, the height of your jars,
  • flowering end (small end) lopped off and then cut into spears lengthwise
  • 8 small garlic cloves, peeled, divided (2 cloves per jar)
  • 4 bay leaves (1 per jar)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed (1/2 tsp per jar)
  • fresh dill sprigs, cut to height of jar (1 per jar)
Brine
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tsp pickling salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp pickling spice
  • cheese cloth square
Instructions
  1. Prepare 4 500ml jars as outlined here. Simmer lids over low heat, do not boil.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix together the cider vinegar, water and pickling salt.
  3. Wrap up 2 tsp pickling spice in a small square of cheesecloth. Tie spice sachet tight then drop in.Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 15 minutes then remove and discard sachet.
  4. Into each sterilized jar, pop 2 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp mustard seed and 1 stem of dill weed.
  5. Pack the pickling cucumbers vertically into the jars, squeezing them tightly. Divide all the pickles between the four jars evenly.
  6. Carefully pour the brine into a heat-resistant measuring cup with spout. Then pour the brine into each of the four jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-room at the top. Poke and move the pickles gently with a sterilized stick to remove any air pockets that have formed. Top up the jars with brine as needed.
  7. Wipe the mouth of the jars clean, top with heated lids and gently hand-turn rings on top. Do not over-tighten.
  8. Lower gently into boiling water in the canner and let the jars process for 15 minutes (yes.. this recipe asks for a longer processing time) once the water has begun to boil again… add more time depending on your elevation. Check for time on the altitude chart found here…
  9. Remove from water without tilting and allow to cool on tea towel or metal rack. Check for popping as the lids seal. The center of the lids will depress. Once cooled, wipe clean and leave undisturbed for 7 days before eating.
  10. Adapted from Bernardin Home Canning

Love, Smidge 

 

 

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