This time of year I get a few huge cucumbers each week in my CSA. If you are not familiar with a CSA I highly recommend you look into getting one next year. Around January or Feburary of each year, local farmers open up their CSA’s for membership. CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is the best way to get local fresh produce each year. You pay a flat rate in the winter to support the farm and then for a number of weeks or months through the summer and fall you receive produce from the farm. It is considered a bit of a risk because you never know the weather and how much will be produced each year but it is generally well worth it. For about $25 a week, in my CSA, I receive a large bag of fruits and vegetables, a dozen eggs, and a pound of ground beef.
When the growing season is plentiful there is lots of food to go around and I often invite friends over for dinner. Snacky foods from a CSA are sometimes hard to come by unless you just much on carrots like I do. So making pickles is an excellent way to make a snack that is tasty and healthy to use my lovely cucumbers. You only need a few ingredients but a few more can be added depending on what you would like your pickles to taste like. These pickles are quick and non-fermented, made with vinegar. There are more complicated recipes making fermented pickles and those are excellent too but not as quick and easy.
- White Vinegar
- Garlic (preferred ingredient)
- Quart glass jar with lid
Suggested ingredients (use any combination of the following
- Black Pepper (whole corns)
- Onion (cut into strips)
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Dill (fresh preferred but dried works)
The key to this recipe is the water and vinegar combination.
- Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. For a quart jar I use one cup of each and it is plenty.
- While bringing to temperature, cut up your vegetables, garlic, and/or herbs (not black pepper). Layer these in a jar. I like to make sure my herbs are in the bottom and my vegetables are easier to get out but any decorative layering is alright.
- When liquid is boiling, pour into jar over vegetables. Wait a few minutes for bubbles to rise and pour in a bit more liquid to ensure that the vegetables are covered. Put the lid on and wait to cool on your counter before placing in the refrigerator.
After 2-3 days in your refrigerator these pickles will be ready to eat. The boiling is needed to penetrate heat into the cucumbers and herbs to encourage the flavors to merge over the refrigeration period. These pickles keep for a few months in the refrigerator before they start to taste stale.
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