My favorite pickles

I love pickles. I love spicy pickles more. They are so easy to make and you can use any spices your palette pleases.

The first time I made pickles I think I made 6 jars. I was not sure which vinegar I would like, how I wanted the garlic (minced, crushed, clove) and it was all an experiment in the peppers to get the spice I like. I am the only one in the house who loves hot and spicy and I make at least one jar of pickles no one else will touch!

The things I have learned:

  • White wine vinegar is the best. Rice vinegar tastes dirty and has no flavor for pickles.
  • If you use garlic you should be minced or crush it. Just a clove does not lend much flavor.
  • The pickles can be eaten the next day but the longer you can wait to eat them the better they will be.
  • You can use any cucumber. I have used the plain old salad cucumbers and small Kirby cucumbers you find in the produce aisle. This batch I used pickling cucumbers from my garden.

How to make pickles

  1. Slice cucumbers into spears or chips.
  2. In a bowl whisk together:
    • 3/4 c white wine vinegar
    • 2 c water
    • 1 1/2 T sugar
    • 1 1/2 T sea salt
    • 1 T coriander
  3. Add the desired amount of the following spices to the liquid and stir well. I have listed my preference, however I don’t measure much and it’s likely I have low balled the measurements.
    • 4 T minced garlic or 6 cloves, crushed
    • 2 T whole peppercorns, you can crack them as well
    • 3 T crushed red pepper flakes
  4. Place cucumber slices into a mason jar.
  5. Place 7 sprigs of dill in between slices.
  6. Pour liquid into jar enough to cover the cucumbers completely.
  7. Top with lid and close tightly and place in refrigerator.
  8. Let sit and chill for as long as you can possibly handle.

Other options:

  • 2-3 jalapeno’s sliced and placed in between spears. Do not scrape the seeds out! This provides some great heat that is wonderful.
  • 2 green chili’s sliced.
  • I like to crush the garlic cloves and peppercorns together in the mortar and pestle. I think it combines the flavors well.
  • Skip the dill and add more sugar for a sweet pickle.

Pickles are an easy and fun thing to make and you get limitless flavors. Play around with it, make several jars at once and label the jar with your spice combination and have a pickle taste test. I did this several months ago when my sister, her kids and my oldest nephew were here. It was fun and quite hilarious to see and hear everyone’s responses to the different recipes. It helped me determine the best way to use the garlic and how peppers to use to get the heat I wanted. The best thing is, once you taste test your pickle if you want more of a certain flavor just the ingredient to the jar and viola you have another flavor in just a day without much effort.

In fact, this last batch I made is a bit of an experiment as well. I did not have fresh dill, only dried dill and I just dumped some in. We will see how that worked out Wednesday during our cookout! I did get the “however you are making the pickles smells amazing” from the hubbie. He could smell the deliciousness all the way in the living room.

I cannot wait to eat my new batch and am looking forward to having more garden cucumbers so we can make more pickles.

Have fun with your pickle making experience! I’d love to hear how you make yours and what spice blends you come up with.

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Categories: Recipes

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