I was just reviewing my last few posts and thinking that I am very glad to have been able to share those beautiful flowers...especially considering that they are almost all dead...ha! Happily the gladiolus and sunflowers have begun to bloom, and the marigolds are still pretty resilient.
If you read my last post, you know that our little garden has been quite healthy, the only question is whether we got more yield from the zucchinis or the cucumbers! I've used cucumbers for salad frozen some in pieces (who knows how those will taste),, and tried to fry them (too much water and not enough flavor); but we've had so many, they go bad before I can give them away (though I did plenty of that too!) With that in mind, I began to consider some alternatives to using the cucumbers fresh. So today, I've included a recipe from my first experiment with pickling. I'd love to hear your ideas, especially since they're so many recipes out there and so many different ways to pickle! So with that, I present to you my very own
Sweet and Salty Dilled Cucumbers!
4 cups of white vinegar
4 cups of water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup of sea salt
2 tbs mustard seed
2 tbs dill weed**
3 cloves garlic, chopped
dash of ground black pepper
Jalapenos (cut in circles or diced)
Clove of garlic (per jar, if you really want that garlic flavor)
Fresh baby dill sprigs (one per jar)--for extra zing
Onion, chopped (a healthy portion per jar)
as a side note: I may or may not have also added healthy shakes of the following spices (since they're secretly in almost everything I make, including sweets):
crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, white pepper
In the meantime, bring brine ingredients to a roiling boil. Pour the boiling brine over the cucumbers. I of course, did not have enough brine solution, or maybe my jars were too big, (make sure to check this ratio before proceeding, unless you're as carefree as I am!) and so I added a bit of water to each jar to have enough solution to cover all of the cucumbers. As a note, I did use hot water, but boiling a larger volume of brine would have been better for sterilization purposes...instead of risking bacterial contamination.
Rinse and cut cucumbers into spears (or whatever shape you prefer, mine were "thick cut" mostly because I hate chopping vegetables). Place cucumber spears into jars (try to distribute them evenly).
I then sealed the jars (self-sealing jars work best, to help pressurize the jar and keep it relatively sterile), rinsed the outsides, and placed them all in the refrigerator. Don't worry if you are not able to seal your jar, the refrigeration will do it for you!