Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pickles Two Ways

Happy first official day of summer! I find this day rather hilarious because we have already broken several triple digit records and it feels more like late August than mid-June. But what better way to beat the heat than to make some cold, crunchy pickles? You barely even have to turn on your oven for these babies and they're ready in a couple of hours.

Adapted from Alton Brown

Regular Not Too Sweet Bread n' Butter Pickles

You will need:

2 medium cucumbers
1/2 an onion
1 cup of water
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon of pickling spice

Thinly slice the cucumbers and onions. Stuff them into a glass jar with a tightly closing lid. In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer 4-5 minutes. Pour the pickling juice into the jar full of cucumbers and onions. After a couple of minutes, top of the jar with the remaining juice in your pan. Let it sit out on the counter until it reaches room temperature. (Thankfully, it's boiling hot here, so it came off the stove at "room temperature") Seal the jar and stick it in the fridge until cold. Volia!

Sweet n' Spicy Pickled Goodies
Follow the directions as above, but use 1 cucumber, a little less onion, 4 banana peppers, two jalapenos and a couple of dashes of red pepper in the jar. (slice the banana peppers and jalapenos). Make the pickling juice as above. The spiciness level is easy to adjust. Also, it's easy to make a spicy and non-spicy version at the same time, just double the amount of pickling juice, stick whatever combination of cucumbers and peppers in your jars and go to town! I kind of want to pickle everything now. :)

If your kids are old enough, they can get involved filling the jars with their own vegetables and helping to measure the spices. It's good to make a few jars at once...they are highly addicting!

Happy Summer!

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