I love pickles! I’ve had good luck making big batches and officially canning them, but I also enjoy making small fresh batches to enjoy throughout the summer. Making small batches allows you to use whatever veggies you have and avoids the full canning process, which can be hot and daunting.
I started two large ball jars in my fridge at the beginning of the summer and have been enjoying them ever since.
I added fresh dill, five cloves of garlic, one dried chili pepper, one teaspoon of black peppercorns and two teaspoons of dried mustard seeds to each jar. You can play around with whatever spices you enjoy in your pickles. I love garlicy pickles, but some people may find five cloves too spicy.
Raw garlic is incredibly healthy with lots of immune boosting properties. I find it too strong to eat on its own, but I like eating pickled garlic. I add extra garlic to my pickles because I know I’ll enjoy the pickled garlic at the end of the summer.
My first batch of pickles were small fresh cucumbers. It’s better to use smaller cukes for pickling — especially when making a quick batch like this and skipping the overnight salting to draw out water. Large cucumbers make watery pickles instead of nice crunchy spears.
After adding my spices to the bottom of the jars I stuffed them with cukes and then filled with cider vinegar. You can use any vinegar, but I find white and cider to be the best pickling varieties. Make sure your vinegar is fully covering the veggies to prevent mold. You can also add 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water if full vinegar is too strong for you. I like them strong so my batch is 100% cider vinegar.
I started eating my pickles after about two weeks and enjoyed testing their ever-increasing potency as the weeks progressed. Once I had eaten half a jar I replaced the space with fresh green beans. That’s the joy of having fresh pickle jars in the fridge — you can add whatever veggies you want whenever you have room!
What do you pickle? Any fabulous recipes to share?