Happy Autumn! This is a great time to start preserving all of those vegetables that have been popping out in the garden this past month. Pickles are a personal favorite of mine and a good way to utilize the produce from what are generally very fruitful cucumber or zucchini plants. That being said, you can pickle or can just about anything! I am going to share with you all a simple recipe for delicious pickles. However, bear in mind that I am not processing pickles, which is essential if you wish for yours to last a couple months. Thus, for this recipe, I would recommend eating them within a week or so. Now, lets get started!
There are a few essentials you will need. A few Ball glass jars will do well, I would suggest quart jars. This recipe will be for 6 pints, so grab 3 quart jars. Also, make sure you have distilled vinegar and pickling salt.
To make 6 pints of pickles, you’ll need about 3-5 lbs of cucumbers/zucchini. Also, chop up a whole white or vidalia onion and grab several cloves of garlic. Soak the cucumbers, onion, and garlic in ice water. I like to put them in a large bowl with some cold water on the bottom and then put ice over the top to melt.
Prep: Sterilize the jars by washing them in the dishwasher and laying them right side up on a cookie sheet in an oven set at 225 degrees for at least 15 minutes. In the mean time, put the tops in boiling water. Near the end of the 15 minutes, prepare the brine by putting 3 cups of water, 3 cups of distilled vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of pickling salt in a pot and bringing it to a boil.
Once the produce is mostly submerged in ice water and is cool, pack the pint jars (after they’ve cooled, of course) with sliced pickles, onions, garlic, and whatever spices you’d like. I recommend dill weed or seeds, mustard seed or powder, coriander seed, black peppercorns, red chili flakes, and turmeric. Feel free to try new spices, too! I also recommend chopped jalapeño or habanero for those who like it hot!
Once you’ve packed your jars with your produce and splices, pour the hot brine over the top, filling the jars almost up to the top. Next, put on the lids that were boiled. Use tongs, as they’ll be hot. Using a hot pad, tighten the lids and let them sit until they cool. Then put them in the fridge and they’ll be ready to go within 24 hours!