Cute little kirby cucumbers. They are like the little brothers of regular cukes…about 4 or five inches long, and my farm market was selling them by the basketful. I figured it was a SIGN.
So I washed them off and cut them into halves and quarters. And then I got down to the pickling. I mixed up a combo of white vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes and hot water. I cooled it off a bit and in the meantime tossed my cukes with crushed garlic and lots and lots of fresh dill. When the vinegar mixture was cooled off, I poured it over the cucumber dill mixture until the cukes were underwater (or should I say, under-brine? Brine is what us pickle-makers call the vinegar stuff). I put a plate on top of the cukes to make sure they stayed obediently submerged, covered the whole thing with plastic wrap and put it in my fridge.
Then I waited. 48 long hours. Periodically I would peek into the refrigerator to see what was happening, which looked like not too much. The bowl of cucumbers looked exactly the same every time I peeked.
Finally at the end of the second day I fished one out of the bowl and took a bite. And…it was a PICKLE! A tart, spicy, crunchy, slightly garlicky, totally miraculous pickle! That I had made myself! And as the days went by, they only got better – spicier and more and more pickle-ish. Now, I’ve made my own butter, my own ricotta cheese, my own applesauce…but honestly, nothing has ever made me as ridiculously excited as making my own pickles.
Which is good, because incomprehensibly, the Southern husband is not a big pickle fan. He ate a couple to be polite and supportive, but aside from that it’s been me and about 50 pickles.
Anyone want a really fabulous pickle?