Pickles are the perfect topping for sandwiches and hamburgers, or to just eat on their own. Or at least, that’s what I’m told. Personally, I don’t care for pickles, but Justin loves them.
Lately, he and the boys go grocery shopping together while I am getting some work done, and one day he came home with a cucumber. I asked why, since it wasn’t on the list (I know, I make the list), and he said he wanted to make pickles.
I told him he was on his own for this recipe since I don’t even eat pickles and have no clue where to even start, so he took the challenge. I just took the pictures in the end!
The first thing he did, as we usually do when trying something new, was to look up a few recipes to get ideas. And this meant another quick trip to the store to get a few things, but the ingredients are all ones that you buy once, and they last a long time, other than the fresh cucumber.
At our grocery store, there is a cucumber that’s labeled as a pickling cucumber. Of course, this makes it easy to know what type to buy. If you can’t find one called a pickling cucumber, then you want to look for one that’s firm and unbruised to give you the crunchiest pickles.
This recipe is for a basic pickle, but you could add so many different spices to it to change the flavors to your liking.
Step by Step
I don’t have any photos in-process since Justin always makes these, but the recipe is pretty simple to follow.
Start by washing the cucumber and slicing it to the size pickles you want. Justin likes to make long sandwich-sized pickles rather than the flat round pickles, but you can cut them in any way that you want.
Prepare the jars by making sure they are also clean and add your spices to the jar. Justin makes them with sliced garlic, dill, and red pepper chili flakes. It helps to add them to the jar first, so you know there is space. Then put the cucumbers in the jars, making sure to pack them in, but don’t squish them.
Make the pickling brine by combining the cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a pot over high heat. Bring it to a rolling boil, then remove it from the heat. Let it cool for a minute before pouring it into the jars over the pickles and spices. Make sure to leave a bit of space in case it expands, and seal the jars.
Wait until everything cools to room temperature, then store the pickles in the refrigerator. They will be good for a few weeks. If you process these like you would when you can other items, they can be kept on a shelf for up to a year. We’ve never done this, so I can’t explain the process well, but there are many tutorials online.
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- 1 pickling cucumber
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 sprigs dill
- 1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp pickling salt
- Wash the cucumber and cut to the desired size for pickles
- Wash and dry jars for pickles
- Slice garlic and add to jars with dill and chili flakes
- In a small pot, combine apple cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt and bring to a rolling boil
- Let brine cool for a few minutes and pour into the jars until they are almost full
- Seal jars and leave out until they reach room temperature
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks