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PICKLE TIME!

by Jo Marie Scaglia

We are deep into the hot summer and gardens are ripe, the Farmers’ Markets are full and it’s the perfect time for making pickles. This is a prime time to harvest cucumbers whether from your garden or the closest Farmer’s Market. The heat produces an abundance of cucumbers and that is the first step in making the freshest pickles you have ever tasted. There are so many types of pickles but I like the one’s I grew up with, Dill Pickles and Bread & Butter Pickles.

Here are a few pickle making tips you may enjoy!

Before I start making my pickles, I head to my one of the many high quality Farmers’ Markets in the area. Throughout the summer, I try to support all of them. There are a number of great options all over town.  A few that I visit regularly are The Waldo Organic Farmer’s Market, Organic Brookside Farmer’s Market, the City Market and the Old Overland Park Farmer’s Market.You are lucky – many of these markets are literally in your backyards.

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To make Coco’s Dill Pickles, you will need:

  • 2 lbs of cucumbers, whole or sliced (Approx. 8 to 10 cucumbers)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 heads of fresh dill with flowers
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¾ c white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup of cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry dill
  • 1 teaspoon of assorted peppercorns (black, red, brown, green)
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes

 

To make Bemo’s Bread & Butter Pickles, you will need:

  • 2 lbs of cucumbers, whole or sliced (Approx. 8 to 10 cucumbers)
  • 5 cipollini onions, sliced
  • 1½ cups of water
  • ¾ cup of white vinegar
  • ¾ cup of cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes

 

Step 1: Pick your favorite type of cucumber. I love Kirby cucumbers, for me they’re the perfect size, but you can use any variety that you love.

Step 2: Combine vinegar, warm water, salt and sugar to make your liquid pickling solution. Dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.

Step 3: Next, decide whether you want to slice the cucumbers or leave them whole. Start off by filling your favorite jar with sliced or whole cucumbers.

Step 4: Layer your cucumbers in the jars with all other ingredientsPour liquid pickling solution over cucumbers and herbs.

Step 5: Refrigerate for 5-10 days until cured. Some people like to eat their pickles after just a few hours.  I find that three to four days out is when they are at their best!

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Share your pickles!

When your pickles are ready they’re great to share at parties. They make excellenthousewarming hostess gifts. You can take them to family cookouts and barbecues for a homemade treat. You can taste the difference with no additives, no preservatives, less sodium and the freshness is out of this world.

They are meant to be shared. You will tickle guests with your pickles for sure!

Have a question? Email us at info@mixxingitup.com! Stay tuned for more tips or stop by for the freshest Mixx around.

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