Pickling cucumbers as still life? Oh, please… With these beauties the picture practically takes itself!
We have a thing for pickles around here, and it all started with College Girl. As a youngster she gave us a pretty hard time at meals, up until the time we learned that if we threw a pickle on it she was charmed!
In her toddler universe the pickle was her proverbial dollop of ranch dressing! As long as it was on the plate, eating progressed and complaining ceased.
And pickle fascination endures, continuing in her adulthood to show up in lots of things you might have thought of too, like potato salad, tartar sauce, Cuban sandwiches, brisket, pulled pork, hot dogs, grilled cheese…
At our house the faster they get from garden to mouth the better, so I am a big fan of the quick and easy refrigerator method of pickling! Your pickles will easily keep for a month in the refrigerator and the whole process is so simple I implore you to give it a try — the crispy wonderfulness makes them SO worth making!
But like all good things, they come for a season. And yes, a little thing like a pickle can make ur tiny world complete!
2 ½ pounds pickling cucumbers, garden fresh if possible
1 pound sweet onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup kosher salt (non-negotiable, as table salt will turn pickles dark and muddy)
1 ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ teaspoon celery seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice
6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves
½ teaspoon turmeric
(Please don’t be put off by the long list of spices. I admit that I left a few of them out when I first started making these. Eventually I collected them all!)
Carefully rinse the cucumbers and scrub away any dirt. Slice off the ends and discard. Slice the cucumbers in ¼ inch thick slices and place in a large bowl.
Add the sliced onions and combine.
Add the salt and stir until it is well distributed.
Cover with a thin tea towel (not a terry cloth one) and cover with several inches of ice. Put in the refrigerator and let chill for 4 hours. This is the hard part – waiting…
When the time is nearly up, place the vinegars, sugar and all the spices in a large pot. Bring to a boil and continue until all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
Pour the cucumbers and onions into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Drain and rinse again.
Add the cucumbers and onions to the pot and bring to a boil again.
As soon as the solution begins to boil, use a slotted spoon to move the vegetables to a storage container. (I use a glass container while things are hot and then transfer to a plastic Gladware container later for storage.) Pour enough hot liquid over the pickles to cover.
Recipe from SimplyRecipes.