This weekend my husband was out of town and thank goodness because if he was home I think that we both would have had a pickle eating contest. I have always wanted to make pickles, mainly due to loving the heck out of them. I am also fascinated with all the different spices that one can infuse into the lonely cucumber to then turn it into something that can be a satisfying snack, chopped up in a salad or be the sidekick to a sandwich. Doing research on my pickle making exploration I found that there is a whole world of fermentation that I had no clue even existed. Well, these here pickles are quick refrigerator pickles and take only a few ingredients and a few minutes to make. The hard part is waiting for them to cure prior to eating them all up.
Used a mixture of little pickling cucumbers from the Farmer's market along with the Kirby's cut into spears. Some of the information from my little Internet research suggests blanching the cucumbers first as this allows the pickles to absorb more flavor and they tend to be a bit crisper. I did not do this step as having two small children waiting for dinner made me cut some corners.
Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles
I think I made about 2 and 1/2 pints of pickles. Next time I will follow the recipe a bit closer and I think the whole peppercorns and coriander seeds are not infusing as well as if I used ground. Experiments to come!
2 pounds Kirby cucumbers
1 and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 and 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons pickling salt ( I used kosher salt and it seems fine)
6 garlic cloves, peeled about two per jar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar (3/4 teaspoons total)
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar (3 teaspoons total) I used fresh dill and just added a small bunch to each jar
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar ( 1 1/2 teaspoons total) I used a combo of pink and black.
Wash and slice the cucumbers however you would like them to be. I had some small pickling cucumbers so I kept them whole. In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer. Add the spices and garlic to each jar. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You want to pack them in tight. Pour the brine into the jar, leaving approximately 1/2 inch of headspace.
Tap the jars gently on the counter to dislodge any trapped air bubbles. Apply the lids and let the jars cool. When they have returned to room temperature, place the jars in the fridge. Let them sit for at least 48 hours before tasting. Enjoy!