Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Batch of Pickles

My first two cucumbers were ready way before the others so I decided to make refrigerator pickles with them to have for this weekend when we have company in town.  Since I won't be able to taste them for about 5 days, don't consider this a "tried and liked" recipe until I follow up with the taste test.

I took 2 pickling cucumbers about 4"-5" long and sliced off the ends.  I read that the blossom end of the cucumber should be cut off since it can make the pickles bitter.  Who knew.  I then sliced each into 6 spears, put them in a pot, sprinkles them with about 1 Tbsp of salt and topped with a few hand fulls of ice.  This is called sweating and helps draw the water out of the cucumbers so they will stay crisp.  I let them sit for about an hour, then drained and rinsed them, and dried them on a towel.

Two cucumbers were perfect for filling a pint jar.  I took one thick slice of onion cut into large pieces and put that in the bottom of the jar with one clove of garlic cut into 3 pieces and a 1/2 tsp of celery seed.

I then stuffed the sliced cucumbers into the jar.

On the stove I brought 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and 1 cup of sugar to a boil.  I did toss in another tsp of salt.  This will do one of three things: 1) make them too salty since I used salt to sweat, 2) not be enough salt since I rinsed the cucumbers after sweating, or 3) it might be just perfect.  Of course I hope for the later.

Once the sugar had melted I poured it over the cucumbers to about 1/4" from the top.

I wiggled the pickle-wanna-bes to get the air out and put the lid on.  Now they are in the refrigerator and should be fantastic in about 5 days and good to eat for 2 to 3 months.  They won't last that long, though.

And on the sewing machine front, my friend Amanda is lending me hers!  I should have my lanyards done tomorrow night.  Ahhh.  I love it when it all comes together.