Pickles

Appetizer, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

pickles1Pickles are one of my favorite snacks. I love their salty and sour flavor and I can sit at a table and pretty much eat a whole container. I am starting my pickling learning process with cucumbers but I cannot wait to try out other vegetables. My grandmother makes pickled cauliflower and lemons and the whole family collects glass jars for her on a continuous basis so that we all get our share.

Last week, my husband’s parents were in town and we went on a two day trip to Naples, FL.

IMG_0219 The beaches on the west coast of FL are absolutely beautiful.  The water is clear and you get to see a lot of wildlife.  We saw dolphins jumping meters away from us, manatees migrating north, and a ray preying for some lunch.  It was pretty exciting and M loved the dolphins and just wanted more and more.  He kept on saying ‘fin, fin.’  It was pretty cute.

Out one night at a restaurant I noted that other tables had a container of pickles; they served pickles instead of bread.  What a genius idea.  This gave them inspiration to make my own.  I had rented a pickling book from the library a few months ago and it had been sitting on our dinning room table and I finally used it to make pickles.  They are in the process of being made but I am highly optimistic.  I made pickled green beans a few weeks ago and they are good but not great.  Something in the mixture of ingredients that I used.   For the pickles I went a little more conservative and also followed my mom’s instructions of make sure the water, salt, and vinegar combination tastes like sea water.

pickles top

Pickles

adapted from The Pickled Pantry

If you want to increase the quantity, just double the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of fine sea salt or pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 6-8 whole Kirby cucumbers
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Dill
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Fennel Seeds

Directions

  1. Heat the water and salt in a saucepan, stirring until the salt is fully dissolved. Add the white vinegar and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Wash the cucumbers and pack a clean canning jar with the dill, garlic, the bay leaves, fennel seeds and the cucumbers, in that order.
  3. Pour in the brine and make sure the pickles are completely covered.
  4. Cover the container to exclude air and set the jar aside to remain at a constant temperature 65˚-75˚F (18˚-23˚C).
  5. Check the jar daily and remove any scum that forms on the surface.
  6. The pickles should be ready in 2-3 days, but they will acquire their full flavor in about a week. You can leave the pickles out for 2 weeks once they are ready if your kitchen is relatively cool, but if its like mine, which gets the afternoon sun, then you might want to refrigerate to prevent spoiling.
  7. The pickles will keep for at least 3 months.

* If the pickles are large you might want to cut them into spears–just note that spears will pickle faster.

 

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