Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pack Your Pickle

I just spent the last half of an hour debating if you would find these rather simple photos interesting enough to see at the "x-large" setting that google's blog template offers.  I shrunk some, enlarged others, tried to move them around to make a collage sort of thing (not possible with google blog template or I just don't know how) and was not satisfied.

Yeah, yeah… this post is supposed to be about making pickles (see way below for all that stuff) but half the fun came from the visuals this little project produced.  Neatly packed cut vegetables in jars, love it.  Before the hot vinegary liquid is poured and after: glorious.  

Why the fascination, you ask?  I don't know but in the end, I just made all the images the same size.

(recipe after the photos)

The beloved mixed veggie jar:  green and yellow beans, radishes, carrots, cauliflower, onions, ginger, fresh coriander, garlic and a couple of chills for good measure.

As straight up as I went with the pickling project:  local organic baby cumbers, mustard seeds, fresh dill, a couple of chilis for good measure, again.

Poetry in a jar.

Just waiting for hot lovin'.
Guilty pleasures:  Mini peppers with LOTS of hotness going on inside... and garlic.
Submerged and beautiful.
Bleeding heart:  local organic red beets, fennel, mint, dill… and garlic.

My XL jar of over the top spicy pickles.  All mine!

Family photo.

I'm no pickling expert, just a regular curious person who loves a good pickle. Below is the recipe I tweaked.  I like the slightly sweet, a bit more salty experience but I do know you can use only salt if that's your thing.

Also, in my mind, anything goes, pickle whatever the hell you want.  I'm sure there will be varying results based on what it is that you choose but sticking with firm veggies always yields a good crunch. 

Speaking of a good crunch, that's what I'm after as well.  I'm still in the testing mode here but I can say that I just tried one of my super spicy cucumber pickles and it was absolutely DELICIOUS,  less than 24 hours in the fridge. Actually, I would be very happy if they stay exactly the way they are (perhaps a little spicier) but let's see what happens after another day or two.  I'll be updating my findings in the comments. 

Warning:  Calculate how much fridge space you have before undergoing your pickling project, these need to be refrigerated.  If you go nuts buying your veggies and can't stop yourself like I couldn't, you either have to have catering capacity refrigeration  (lucky me) or you have to have lots of friends to pickle gift.  Careful that you don't end up with too much pickle to pack. Har har.



4 Crispy Baby Cucumbers (Kirby cucumbers), washed, dried, and quartered lengthwise
2 or 3 sprigs fresh dill (or any herb you like)
1 cup distilled white vinegar 
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 fresh chili
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Place cucumbers, herbs, chili and garlic in a jar.

Heat vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan, stirring, until sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour into jar. Let cool completely, uncovered. Pickles are best refrigerated overnight (or up to 6 weeks) before serving.