You Can Never Have Too Many Pickles
From the backyard or from your local farmers market, crisp cucumbers are a summertime favorite. I usually eat these green delights in a salad or as a snack, but after being told by many people how easy canning and pickling was, I had to give it a chance. This push for pickling could not have come at a better time since the Fresh Nation garden is being overrun with cucumbers!
After picking the cucumbers from the garden, make sure to remove the spines from the skin and wash them thoroughly to rinse away any dirt. We decided to use the ‘Ball - Kosher Dill Pickle Mix’ since it is easy to prepare and quite tasty. We are also preparing these pickles without sealing them in their containers, so they will be ready sooner but do not last as long. Ball calls this type of canning the “enjoy now” preparation method, but we just call it being too excited to wait to eat our pickles.
Assuming the pickles are cleaned, preparing the brining mixture is really easy. Many Ball products list the directions on the side, but the website is also helpful to read what other people are doing and to keep us confident we were on the right track.
As per the instructions, we planned on making 2 quarts of pickles. This required about…
- 14 small to medium pickles (or about 6-7 very large pickles in our case)
- 1 cup vinegar (at 5% acidity)
- 2 cups water
- one packet of ball spices
- 2 quart ball jars
- a large bowl
(The recipe recommends that you cut the pickles into spears, but since we are rebels we chose to keep the pickles whole.)
With the pickles prepped, we combined the water, vinegar, and Kosher Dill Pickle Mix in a medium saucepan and heated it to a boil.
Place the pickles into a large bowl and once the brining solution is at a boil, pour it over the pickles in the bowl.
Let the mixture sit with the pickles until it is cool. When everything is at room temperature again, pack the cucumbers into the 2 quart jars and evenly distribute the brine solution among the jars. As mentioned before, because we were rebels and chose to keep the pickles whole rather than cut them into spears, we needed to add a little extra pickling solution to the jars because of the extra space.
At this point, all that is left to do is wait as the pickles sit in the fridge soaking up flavor. Who would have thought making pickles was so easy!