Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Quick Dill Pickles

Experiment #1

The next pickle experiment probably won’t happen until August or September of next year, when there’s a surplus of cucumbers again. This time, my bunch of Kirbys had already been in the fridge for about a week, so I needed to come up with a use for them before it was too late. Hence, the first pickle experiment – not canned and preserved like my grandma used to make, but something simple and quick. I skimmed a few recipes I found online, but nothing was quite what I had in mind. So, I winged it.

I cut up the cucumbers, as you can see, and put them in a large glass bowl. I poured in some cider vinegar (because I didn't have any standard white vinegar at the time), added some roughly chopped garlic, several sprigs of fresh dill, kosher salt, a few chili peppers (I just slit them open as I didn’t want to add any major heat), and water to cover the cucumbers. Then I covered the bowl and put it in the fridge.

The next day, I tasted and decided they were a little bland and slightly sweet (which was not what I was going for). So, I added some salt – I couldn't think what else to do – and put them back in the fridge.

Today, they have a pretty good flavor: The salt is about right, as is the dill and the garlic. The heat is very mild (maybe a little too mild, for me). The only problem is, there’s still a subtle sweetness to the pickles. I can only attribute that to the cider vinegar. Distilled white vinegar would have been a better choice, I think.

I hope they’re still crisp and tasty when my husband gets home tomorrow, so he can try them too. I’d like to know what he thinks of them, and they’ll only keep about a week. In the mean time, we’ll be having them with ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight – an easy, picnic-style dinner for, what may be, our last hot day before the cool fall weather begins to creep in.

Any suggestions for experiment #2? Please send them my way… anytime over the next year. Thanks!

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