Friday, August 6, 2010
I’m not the kind of lady that pickles things. Well, unless you count my liver. Yeesh. I turned 30 on Monday and it has been a long week filled with all things overindulgent. I have had an absolute blast but I need a salad and a gallon of Gatorade. So yes, I’m 30 now, which brings me one year closer to my eventual career goal of being retired. My friend and I often fantasize about the days when we’re finally those boozy grandmas who are wicked tan and thin and eat only oysters and champagne and take to wearing their good, heavy jewelry all the time. I think I will be a very cool grandma. Which brings me to pickles (nice segue, right? Don’t hassle me I’m hung over).
The loose association between grandmas and pickles is this: my Grandma always had a pickle plate on the dinner table and my Nana was the type of lady who pickled, jarred and canned. So there you have it connection complete. Grandmas=pickles.
These are the Cliffs Notes of pickles. So simple I can hardly stand it. Truth is, I don’t even like pickles all that much, but I just needed to know if I could make them or not. Remember last month when I quick pickled some cherry tomatoes? I simply wanted to see if that recipe would translate to regular old pickles. I wasn’t even banking on these pickles being noteworthy enough to blog about but wouldn’t you know it, they were very noteworthy indeed.
The pickles have just the right amount of zip and tang and they stayed crunchy for weeks. Weeks. Take that Vlasic! In your face Claussen! If things don’t work out with my modeling career, I know I have a fall back gig making pickles. Which is fine with me, so long as I can retire in time to really enjoy my tan/drunk grandma phase.
FAST and EASY PICKLES
6 pickling cucumbers
1 ½ c. water
1 ½ c. apple cider vinegar
6 tsp. salt
3 tsp. sugar
A couple small strips lemon peel (yellow part only, no white pith)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
¼ c. chopped fresh dill
Rinse and dry your cucumbers and slice into spears or rounds (I chose rounds, although, I’m quite sure you could pickle the whole cucumbers, but it would take longer for the flavor to seep into them). Heat water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Allow mixture to come to a boil and stir a few times so that the sugar doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pan. Let simmer until salt and sugar are dissolved (this happens quickly, stay nearby). Remove pot from heat and let cool about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble your flavorings: slice garlic, chop dill, peel lemon, measure pepper. Drop cucumbers and flavoring ingredients into a large glass jar, fill with liquid.
Let sit at room temperature for as little as 2 or as many as 8 hours. Voila, pickles. Clamp a lid on that jar and store in the fridge. These pickles have kept (and stayed crunchy) for the last two weeks, going on three. I can’t comment on their lifespan beyond two or three weeks, but so far so good.
*you will note that in this last photo, you can see the liquid only fills the jar about halfway. At first, I merely followed the recipe for the Pickled Cherry Tomatoes. But the liquid only filled the jar about halfway up. So I quickly and loosely created a second batch of the liquid elements, topped it off and all was well again.