I LOVE pickles and no, no, I’m not pregnant…. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making them and when my mother popped over with some that she’d recently made I begged her to teach me. She quickly acquiesced and luckily it was easier than I thought and a fun activity that the whole family could get into. Harlowe’s at an age where she loves to ‘help’ in the kitchen so she loved plopping in the sliced cucumbers and making sure that they were really tight.
Pickling or canning is best to do at a time like summer where things like cucumbers are at their peak freshness. It’s a fun activity now but also a sweet reminder of summer when you crack open a jar mid February and are reminded of the warm weekend when you made them. I used a canning kit that I picked up on Amazon but you can use things around the house to make it happen.
- 8-10 pickling cucumbers
- 1 large peeled carrot (optional)
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of pickling salt
- 4 heads of fresh dill
- 4 small garlic cloves
- scotch bonnet pepper divided between jars (optional)
- Fill a large pot with hot water. Keep in mind that the pot when filled with water will need to cover your jars. There are canning pots (like these) that come complete with a rack to keep your jars from touching the bottom. If you don’t have one you can always place something like a cooling rack in the bottom of your pot to keep the jars elevated.
- Add the jars (without lids) to the hot water. Bring the water to a boil and once it reaches boiling turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water until you’re ready to use. This process sterilizes the jars
- Wash your cucumbers and trim the ends and then cut them into the shape you desire. I like spears so I quartered mine, but you can make them into slices or rounds, the choice is yours!
- In a separate pot make the brine by combining the vinegar, water, salt (must be pickling) bring to a boil to combine
- Remove the sterilized jars from the pot and place on a work surface (don’t want to ruin your marble countertops!)
- In the jar place one head of dill, one clove of garlic, a carrot stick and a slice of scotch bonnet (optional) and then pack in the pickles
- Once all packed in pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cuckes leaving 1/2 and inch of space from the top
- Seal up the jars and place into your big boiling cauldron (the one with the rack at the bottom 😉 and simmer for around 15 mins
- Finally, carefully pull out your jars (this tool is super helpful) and allow them to cool.
These little guys are a super cute hostess gift if you’re sick of showing up with Rose. If that’s at all possible….