I think it was a pickle festival on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2008 that really sparked my interest in all things pickles. Before then I’d tolerate pickles, mostly ignoring the obligatory pickle served on the side of a burger or diner type meal. As a kid I wasn’t really too interested in them either. I think they were just too sour for my fussy little taste buds. But I do have fond memories of my Dad opening up his favorite can of Israeli pickles or my Mom preparing a batch of her own home made pickle varieties. But I have no memory of ever really eating one. 10 year old me would think “Pickles? Bleh!”
After that LES festival and all the free samples you could want I really developed a taste, no craving for pickles. But at that stage I was more interested in the consumption and not so much creation of pickled goodness. All that changed after a great little gift from a friend who picked up on my keen interest in pickles. One year she had no choice but to start pickling all the cucumbers that grew in her garden. She didn’t know what else to do with them. I bombarded her with so many questions. “How do you do it? What kind of equipment do you need? How long does it take? Is this process related to canning? Will I make myself sick if I mess up a step?” She assured me that it was quite a simple process and then one day she surprised me with a little pickle gift. She brought me everything I’d need to make my own pickles, all tucked into a cute 1 quart jar and the rest is history. Thanks BD!
The recipe that you’ll see at the end of the post is based on a recipe from Cooks.com and uses a combination of vinegar, salt and sugar but I’ve added some other bits and pieces along the way to make the flavor my own and you should do the same. You don’t like it too salty? Use less salt. You prefer cubes over spears or whole cucumbers? Easy. Just adapt the recipe to your liking. This is probably one of the easiest things out there to make. I surprise myself every time I do it. There’s very little mess involved and prep time is super quick. Before you know it you have a delicious jar of your very own homemade pickles.
Clean and dry a 1 quart jar and get your ingredients ready.
Slice up your cucumbers into spears and put into the jar with the dill.
Fill with chopped garlic, vinegar, water, pickling salt, sugar and other spices
Add vinegar and cold water
Seal the jar and shake shake shake
Leave on the counter for a day. The cover photo is what they look like after sitting out for a day. Look at the difference in color in just one day. Refrigerate for two more days. Here are the pickles after a day of being in the fridge. One more day to go!
And that’s it! Enjoy your delicious pickles.
Recipe – Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles (based on recipe from Cooks.com)
- 1 pack of baby cucumbers (I think these are the perfect amount for a quart jar)
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt. You can get in many grocery stores and online.
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 pieces of dill
- 1 clove garlic cut into 4-5 pieces
- 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Pinch of Alum. You can get it online.
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Slice up the cucumbers into spears (4 per cucumber)
- Put the dill in the jar.
- Add cucumber spears to the jar. It will be a tight squeeze but they will fit eventually. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.
- Add pickling salt, sugar, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and alum.
- Add vinegar.
- Fill jar up with cold water.
- Seal the jar and shake shake shake.
- Leave on counter for 24 hours.
- Then leave in fridge for 48 hours.
- Eat pickles.