Cucumbers: A Grandpa and Grandson Get Pickling

by Laura on July 22, 2013

in In Season

PicklesFromTop2

Flavor and Crunch from the Garden

I was in the middle of working when my 10-year-old walked up to me and said, “Grandpa and I just made pickles.” Before I could digest that thought, he moved on to his next adventure, and I kept working.

It wasn’t until later that day that I decided to investigate. I found a jar of cucumbers in the process of being pickled in the back room. There they were, floating in a brine, alongside some dill and garlic, and I hadn’t even seen them being picked from the vine.

But, according my boy, that’s exactly what he and Grandpa did earlier in the day. They carefully choose their cucumbers, snipped them off the vine, then quietly tiptoed off to start the pickling process. No one else in the house knew of their adventure, and I’m pretty sure that’s the way they planned it.

CukeWater

Infused Water

Mom’s garden is filled with cucumbers — big, fat and prickly. We have all been enjoying them these past few days (Keely has an endless supply of the only vegetable that she claims she likes).With this ready supply of cucumbers on hand, I got searching for other ways to enjoy them – a soup; baked cucumbers, or even cucumber infused water made in Mom’s Primula Flavor-It Infuser – as we wait for the pickles to be ready for chomping.

Since I missed the pickling adventures of my son, I decided to ask him to recount what he and Grandpa did.

Here it is:

  • We cut the pickles off the vine,
  • Put them in some water and vingar.
  • We added salt with some dill and garlic. and that’s it.

Brief, I know. But when it comes right down to it, it is a pretty simple process.

Here is a more official version of the process. You can alter the brine amounts accordingly.

Awash in Brine

Awash in Brine

  • First, find yourself an enormously large glass jar.
  • Make a brine by adding 1-1/2 cup pickling salt to 2 cups vinegar and 2 gallons hot water , so that the salt will dissolve easily.
  • Once cool, pour over the cucumbers in the jar, and weight them down with a plate
  • Let them cure for 4 days to 2 weeks. Then eat or can for enjoyment all year round.

Pickling cucumbers is perhaps one of the easiest methods of preserving the season’s bounty. What is fun about making pickles, is that you can create your own flavor using a variety of spices and herbs from garlic and dill to chili flakes, cloves, and beyond.

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