A spicy sweet dilly flavor fills my kitchen this week, letting visitors know that pickles are afoot in this house.
Lucie’s collection includes 15 recipes for pickles. Fifteen. It’s like the Bubba Gump version of pickles. Dill pickles, split pickles, sweet pickles. . . .
Because I am a recovering perfectionist I didn't try to tackle all of them this year. I stuck with my staple recipes (dill and relish) and branched out with a couple of new ones. In summation:
Nine Day Pickles: This was the most intimidating recipe but turned out to be the most fun. First there was the floating of the egg. Then each day after that was just a little bit of work that I multi-tasked while making breakfast or washing dishes. No big deal. The result was a strong sweet pickle that will go well with meat or, if you’re fancy, on a charcuterie board. And by the way, an ounce of celery seed is a LOT.
Pickle Relish: This sweet relish is my main bribing tool for a select group of sausage-loving friends. I know that it sounds weird because relish isn’t one of those things that you dream about, but this is some serious stuff. Sorry folks, no recipe at this time. You must be in my inner circle.
Lazy Wife Pickles: These were weird. Yes, they were easy to make, but the recipe calls for a cup (a full cup!) of ground mustard. It never fully dissolved. The powder just hung suspended in the liquid; I am guessing it should really be mustard seed instead. Next time.
Dill Pickles: Ah, the dill pickle. I used to buy seasoning kits but simple is best: salt, dill, maybe a clove a garlic, and diluted vinegar. And Aunt Helen’s tip to boil the packed jars in a water bath just until the cucumbers change color, about 7 minutes, guarantees a crisp crunch. But don’t sue me for that because it doesn’t follow the safety rules of Cook Your Food Until It Is Entirely Mushy, Tasteless, and Sterile. It’s just an idea you might try if you’re dangerous. Like me after this week.
Aunt Helen's Dill Pickles
1 pt. cider vinegar
1 cup canning salt
2 1/4 qt. water
2 stalks dill
Bring vinegar, salt, and water to a boil. Pour over pickles that are packed in a jar with dill. Seal with hot lids. Process in water bath just until they turn lighter.