Pickle Making Time

Pickle Making Just what are pickles anyway?  Pickles are quite simply any food that has been fermented in a brine made from sugar, salt and vinegar.  Pickles are a popular snack, side dish, and condiment. 

Types of pickles include dill pickles sweet pickles, bread and butter pickles and antipasto.  Aside from being completely delicious way to preserve food pickling any type of food whether it be a cucumber, tomato or even a strawberry makes it especially healthy for you. This is because the fermentation process acts as a preservative.

Pickles rarely go bad even if they are not stored in the refrigerator. It is also a versatile way to preserve food. In theory you could pickle anything – most things in your garden in fact. The pickling process can also make food even healthier for you. They get the saliva flowing and also help dispel gases in the stomach that may be causing the symptoms of indigestion. 

Pickles are becoming trendier as time goes on with antipasto being the height of the pickling art. Nowadays you will see everything from broccoli to artichokes to red peppers being served as antipasto on the finest of Italian restaurants. Greek peppers called pepperoncinis are often pickled and served as a spicy condiment. Various fruits may also be pickled in a sweet brine. A very nice pickled delicacy is watermelon rinds in brine. Here is a good recipe for simple Dill Pickles

Quick Dill Pickles 

Makes about 8 pints (8 mason jars of pickles) 

8 lbs. of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers

2 gallons water

1-1/4 cups pickling salt1-1/2 quarts vinegar (5 percent acidity preferred)

1/4 cup sugar

2 quarts water

2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice

3 tablespoons whole mustard seed

1 tablespoon whole red and black peppercorns

14 heads of fresh dill4 –

20 peeled cloves of garlic (to your taste) 

1.         Wash cucumbers and garlic. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4 inch of stem attached. Dissolve 3/4 cup salt in 2 gallons of water. Pour over cucumbers and garlic and let stand 12 hours. Drain.  2. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, sugar, and 2 quarts water in a big pot. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean, white cloth. Heat to boiling.  3. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp. mustard seed and 1-1/2 heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath.  Bottling pints should take about 15 minutes. Bottling quarts should take about20 minutes. Y

ou can also make Sun Dills.  This is almost more of science experiment than a pickle recipe but the result is real pickles. Children will love to do this one with you. 

Pack whole medium sized cucumbers in quart jars. Add one sprig of dill and three cherry leaves Mix one-gallon cold water, one cup salt and one cup vinegar in a bowl.  Pour over cucumbers and seal with zinc lids and rubber rings. Place outside in sun for fourteen days.  During the fermentation process these pickles may turn cloudy and then clear up until they are ready to eat.