I had been thinking about making pickles when I went to Sister's apartment earlier in the week and, lo and behold, she had just made pickles! Two Blue Lemons think alike! I tried one of Sarah's and they were so good that I decided to make some of my own. I picked up a few "pickling cucumbers" yesterday at the Davis Square Farmers' Market and also some green and yellow string beans to pickle. Our Aunt Beth used to send us her amazing homemade pickled string beans so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that mine aren't a total disappointment compared to hers. Pickled string beans are fun because they're a little different than the traditional pickle (cucumber), although those are also quite tasty!
It's incredibly easy to pickle things. Besides the few days they sit in the fridge it takes about 5 minutes to prepare the pickles. All you need is a bottle of vinegar, a few spices, and jars. This recipe made enough for one large jar of string beans and one small jar of cucumbers, but it all depends on how tightly you pack your veggies. If you want to make a big batch to preserve all those fresh, local summer delights, simply multiply the recipe. I used apple cider vinegar because I think it has great flavor and isn't too harsh on the vinegar front. I also like lots of fresh dill in my pickles. Just the smell of dill makes me happy! You can experiment with different vegetables and with adding any seeds/spices that sound appealing.
For the pickling brine
4 cups apple cider vinegar (1 large bottle)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh chopped dill (Just the smell of dill makes me happy!)
1. In a saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, red pepper, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
2. Remove vinegar mixture from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Fill your jars with cut cucumbers, string beans, etc.
4. When the vinegar is cool, add the dill and pour into jars to the top. Close tightly.
5. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but preferably 3-4 days.