Relish the Taste of Summer With Easy Homemade Pickling
Yes, it is possible to extend the fresh flavors of summer just a little longer. In my childhood, the solution was pickling and canning vegetables, like corn, beets and cucumbers, that peak during the warm weather months. In those days, we learned how to pickle when we were young.
Today’s busy schedules, however, don’t leave much time for old-fashioned pickling, but refrigerator pickling is an easy way to capture summer in a jar. Preparation time is just 20 minutes and the taste is so authentic, people will swear you spent all day in the kitchen. Anyone can learn how to pickle and no special equipment is needed.
Cut the vegetables you want to pickle into the sized pieces that will be useful to you. For example, if it is fairly small cucumbers, you can leave them whole or you can quarter them lengthwise. Otherwise, you might want to cut them into slices .
Place the uncooked, fresh vegetables into sterile canning jars. If you don’t want to buy canning jars, you can use another type of glass jar. See my favorite brand of jars here at Amazon.
To make 2 1-quart jars of pickles, prepare a mixture of the following ingredients:
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups white vinegar
6 tsp. kosher salt
Several sprigs fresh dill
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Bring the mixture to a boil. Then pour the boiling pickling liquid over the produce, close the jar lids tightly, and place in the refrigerator. Your pickled produce will last about two months.
Some tips for success:
- Sterilize jars by covering with water in a large sauce pot and boiling for 10 minutes.
- Always start with just-ripened produce that is free from bruises or bad spots.
- Dill, mustard seed, turmeric, red pepper, allspice, celery seed and mixed pickling spice are perfect flavors for pickling.
- Vinegar and salt amounts should never be reduced or diluted because they are essential for the pickling process.
- Allow filled jars to cool before placing in refrigerator.
And here’s a great recipe for Sweet Pickle Chips:
Sweet and Easy Pickle Chips
(Makes 8 half-pint jars)
2 pounds pickling cucumbers (4 to 5 inches long)
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup McCormick Minced
2 tablespoons non-iodized salt
1 tablespoon McCormick Celery Seed
1 tablespoon McCormick Mustard Seed
1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
Wash cucumbers with cold water. Cut off ends and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Place slices into 8 hot sterilized half-pint canning jars with lids or 4 pint jars with lids.
Mix remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Ladle over cucumbers, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Stir each jar well. Cool. Place lids on jars and refrigerate pickles. Shake jars once a day for 3 to 5 days to redistribute seasonings and blend flavors.