Pickles!!! OH YEAH!!!!!

Well, I had to give up on posting a vegan recipe every day because I realized that I was even posting recipes that didn’t turn out (and I would never make again), a move that defeats the purpose of this blog (which is simply to save and share good plant-based recipes!). The other reason I’ve been blog-negligent is that we had a house full of guests…and then it was my birthday, and, well, you know how that goes….

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BUT I have made a few rather good recipes over the past week. I also made a couple of really crappy recipes (yeah, I’m looking at you zucchini-apple-caraway-seed coleslaw), but I will spare you those.

Anyway, today, my great excitement concerns pickles. I decided to grow these little pickling cucumbers because I sometimes buy them fresh at Donald’s Market and they’re really lovely and fresh tasting in a salad (or just dipped in hummus).  I planted the seeds on June 10th and, though the zucchini plant next to it was offering up fruit within about six weeks, the pickle cukes were not producing much beyond a few tiny little pickles under a few yellow flowers.

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(Aside: one of my birthday presents is a waterproof camera (for kayaking), but I clearly have not gotten the hang of it—that pickle looks decidedly blurry!)

Anyway, the tiny pickle cukes suddenly started blossoming into full-blown pickles, and I decided to try actually pickling them. I had a bunch of big pickle cukes that would only fit into a jar if I quartered them, and a number of smaller ones, so I decided to try a jar of sliced pickles and a jar of baby dills.

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I couldn’t believe how easy it was!

The recipe is from a book called Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. The recipe is for four pints, but I had cukes for only two, so I adjusted the recipe. Here’s all you need:

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INGREDIENTS

  • 8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3pounds/1.5kg)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) white vinegar
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water
  • 2 tablespoons (25 mL) pickling salt
  • 4 heads fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds (20 mL)
  • 4 small cloves garlic

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 PREPARATION

1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber

2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

3. Remove hot jars from canner. Place 1 head fresh dill or 1 tsp (5 mL) dill seeds and 1 clove garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over cucumbers to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of rim (head space). Process 10 minutes for pint (500 mL) jars.

And….TADAAAAA……they turned out brilliantly!!!

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Oh, and there was a note about including a chilli pepper to make the jar look more attractive. As you can see, I took this advice!

I also added an eighth of a teaspoon of Pickle Crisp (calcium chloride) in the bottom of each pint jar.

And while I’m pleased with the result…aesthetically speaking…I actually have no idea whether these are actually tasty because you can’t eat them for six weeks (and apparently three months is even better). Watch this space for the ultimate verdict!

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