So the first harvest of my pickling cucumbers has come in. Yay!
I decided to try growing them along with regular cukes, so that we could pickle them. We will be canning, but later.
Now to the easy stuff.
I trellised my cucumbers this year, with old hockey nets on the ground, and it works wonderfully.
Hockey Nets for Cucumber Trellis (upper right in pic)
Giving these delicious veggies some serious support, the first cukes I’ve picked are as clean as a whistle. Check them out:
organic pickling cucumbers
So, in order to create something easy, I’m using a friend’s quickie recipe for scrumptious refrigerator pickles. And I cheat. I use a microwave. (LOL)
I find about 8 medium sized cukes are good for about 1 quart of pickling liquid.
You will need:
8 pickling cucumbers (*slice lengthwise or across, your choice)
* thinner you slice, more flavour penetrates but too slim may get mushy
1/4 cup (or so, adjust!) pickling salt (I use sea salt)
1/4 cup (or so, adjust!) white sugar (try different things, like maple sugar/syrup or honey)
About 1 quart of water or so
3/4 cup white vinegar
2 cloves (or more) of garlic
1 white/red onion
Fresh Dill (or seed)
Fresh Red Chili or flake (optional)
* This is totally a matter of taste, however, basic pickles have dill, bay leaf, garlic, onion.
Coriander, mustard, dill seeds
Black Peppercorns (or multi-coloured!)
For some yummy notes:
Place your cut cukes, along with some minced garlic (I usually mince one clove and slice into quarters, the other) and onion (I cut in 3) into your refrigerator container. I use a large glass bowl and not jar because these goodies disappear so very quickly.
Now I boil the pickling liquid in a glass bowl in my microwave. Boiling in anything less than stainless steel, apparently is a no-no because it changes the chemical composition of the pickling liquid. I am still learning, canning is my next mission.
So, put water, pickling flavours, vinegar, sugar and salt into a large glass microwaveable bowl and let the mixture come to a boil. I usually let it boil for about 30 seconds longer than when it started. Take it out and mix the liquid to dissolve the sugar and salt. Microwave for another 30 – 60 seconds.
Pour over cucumber-garlic-onion in the glass bowl. I do not boil the garlic or the onion in the pickling liquid as you will find the flavour turns bitter and unpleasant. Let the hot liquid basically blanche the yummy concoction (the onion is so good too!).
Let it cool down and after it’s no longer warm, place into the refrigerator. Plastic wrap the top.
Give them about 24 hours before you eat. But at our house, only a few hours in the frig and literally minutes until they are gone.
Hope you enjoy and please, adjust the flavourings to your own style. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
I am thinking about making a chinese-style flavouring, using ginger, garlic & sesame oil next.