At first when my mom suggested I learn how to make pickles I balked at the idea.Did she not know how much of a disaster I can be in the kitchen?! It’s one thing to cook up some chicken or bake some cookies… but to make pickles?! I had yet to venture into the world of pickling and was worried. Rather than wait until next year when the little cucumbers are in season, I decided one day to bite the bullet and try.
I had everything set out nicely, I was about ready to go. I had cucumbers, a giant jar, garlic and even some pickling spices I bought at Bulk Barn (I literally bought a pinch, it cost me $0.04, and that is not a typo, that is 4 cents). CURSES! I had forgotten to buy dill. You can’t make Polish-style home-made dill pickles without dill. I was not about to screw this up. I could have used the frozen chopped dill from my freezer, but that didn’t seem right. This called for fresh dill, and I was told it had to be whole stalks. I had to shelve the project for a day.
The process itself is simple enough. I worried that the jar might crack, as I had just taken the cucumbers out of the fridge so they chilled the jar. I could see myself pouring the boiled water in and *crack* cucumbers afloat in a river of boiling water all over my kitchen. Disaster. Averted, I should say. I rinsed the jar under increasingly warmer water to slowly warm it.
The hardest part was probably the “leave it alone for a week” part. I kept wanting to check on them, see how they were doing. Once they started looking like pickles all I could think of was eating them.
So, how did they turn out? Delicious, albeit with a hole down the middle. This is because the cucumbers were a bit old apparently, and I should have (and would have had I known beforehand) soaked them in water first.
Polish-style Home-made Dill Pickles:
- giant jar (or jars)
- fresh dill
- 5 garlic cloves
- about 5-7 small cucumbers (it usually says on the package that they are for pickling or called dill cucumbers) –> can be soaked in water beforehand to prevent them being hollow
- 1 litre of water
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- pinch of pickling salts (optional)
Rinse the cucumbers and stand them upright in the jar, on top of a few stalks of dill. Add some more dill on top and place the garlic cloves evenly around them in the jar. If there is room, add another layer of cucumbers on top (can be on their sides)
Boil the water, salt and sugar. Pour it into the jar (there might be some water left over, that’s OK) and screw the lid on lightly. Let it stand for a week. Screw the lid shut and refrigerate. EAT!