My mom likes to tell a story that took place thirty years ago. She was pregnant with yours truly, and she had constant cravings for pickles. She was eating one jar a day, sometimes more. After she gave birth she didn't eat any more pickles for years, until one fateful day, the gods would see that I would try my first pickle. It was a B&G Kosher spear and it was life-changing.
From that moment on, I loved pickles. Pickled cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower, peppers–whatever I could try.
We always grew cucumbers in the yard, but until a few years ago we never pickled them. The following recipe is the one I've been using for the past three seasons for a great and fast pickled cucumber. Enjoy!
Makes: 3 Mason Jars of pickles
Cooktime: 15 minutes
Pickling time: 3 days minimum
7 cups of water
2.5 cups of white vinegar
1.5 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp kosher or pickling salt
5-7 medium to large cucumbers
3 cloves garlic, whole
3 heads of dill, fresh
3 pinches of black peppercorn (1 per jar)
3 mason jars
Directions (with near step-by-step photo instruction)
1. Boil a large pot of water. Place your jars in your sink and place the lids and caps in a bowl in your sink. Fill each jar with the boiling water, and fill the bowl with boiling water as well. This step is to sterilize the jars completely. Bacteria is the enemy here.
2. Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a large enough pot over high heat. Bring to a boil; remove from heat and cool completely.
3. Wash your cucumbers and dill thoroughly.
4. Use the following family trick to remove bitterness from your cucumbers. Cut both ends of the cucumber, then use one of the removed ends and rub it in a circular motion against the end of the cucumber. You will see a foam begin to build. Do this for a few seconds and then rinse off again. Poof! No more bitterness.
5. Cut each of the cucumbers into spears (as pictured below) and set aside for the time being.
6. Peel your garlic, separate equal portions of dill, and get your peppercorns out.
7. Combine cucumber spears, garlic cloves, fresh dill, and peppercorns in your Mason jars. (Side note: I decided to add a red chili to one to spice things up.)
8. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Seal container with lid and refrigerate for at least 3 days.