At the Clintonville Farmer's Market on Saturday, I bought some pickling cukes as I have been wanting to see about making my own pickles. I scoured the internet and my cookbooks looking for the perfect recipe. My definition of a perfect recipe is 1. I must have all of the ingredients on hand and 2. The recipe must require the least amount of work possible. I was fearful that I would have to abort my pickle mission as I starting reading recipes that required canning jars, boiling and waiting. It all sounded a bit scary! Plus, I admit, I am not the most patient person. So, after looking at several recipes, I came up with the one listed below. I decided to soak the pickles overnight and see how they turned out. They were good after 24 hours, but now that they are on day 4 of soaking, they have an added dimension of flavor. I felt like this would be a good compromise; I would be able to get almost immediate satisfaction while forging ahead with my experiment. After all, I am a former scientist.
So here is my pickle recipe:
For pickle prep...
6 pickling cukes, sliced into spears (The word on the street is that you can use regular cukes, if those are what you have on hand.)
4-6 cloves of garlic
Several fresh dill heads, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
For the cuke bath...
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups vinegar
Many turns of my pepper mill
10 peppercorns (I'm not sure if they did anything, but they made the juice look authentic.)
Sprinkle the sliced cukes with salt, dill and garlic. Mix well. Allow this mixture to sit on the counter for 2 or so hours. While you are waiting, mix the ingredients for the bath and then go indulge in a cocktail. After all, cooking is more fun with a buzz. When ready, dump the bath onto the cukes. Do not drain the juice from the cukes. Mix well. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
I did notice that by day 3, the pickles looked a bit shriveled, but they still had a nice crunch to them. I am not above eating ugly food that tastes great....