Come Away with Me…

Homemade Dill Pickles

I’ve been wanting to make pickles for quite some time. Especially since spending an afternoon at the Bloody Mary bar at The Nines Hotel in Portland. So, this past week, I gave it a go.

STEP 1: Buy pickling (Kirby) cucumbers at the Farmer’s Market (yes, there is a difference between these and regular cucumbers, specifically a thinner skin allowing the brine to penetrate).

STEP 2:  Wash, dry and slice said cucumbers.

STEP 3: Make a Pickling Spice and a Brine. Click here for the recipe I used

STEP 4: Add the cucumbers to canning jars, adding a little of the pickling spice and dill as you stack them. When your jar is full, cover completely with the brine.

STEP 5: Store jars with their lids loose in a cool, dark place for 3-6 days to ferment.

For complete instructions, try this recipe. My pickles were less crunchy than I would have liked and next time, I’ll use less clove.  Pick your Own has tons of information and ideas. While, I won’t be opening up a pickle stand anytime soon, it was a good first attempt. I can’t wait to pickle green beans when they are at their peak.

If you are in Los Angeles and need a hands on step-by-step lesson on making homemade pickles (I think I might!), check out Chicks with Knifes Workshop at Surfas on February 20th. I was a little stunned by the $125 price tag, but trial and error can add up, especially if grandma isn’t around to help you.

If you want to ease your way in, try this book “Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It”. Don’t miss the how-to video!

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5 Responses to “Homemade Dill Pickles”

  1. Rachael

    If you want crisper cucumbers, try soaking your cucumbers in pickling lime for a day before brining.

    Good luck!

  2. Suzie

    Pickling is a lot of work, but I’ve got a great shortcut for you. Whenever you empty a jar of pickles (my favs are Clausen dill), keep the jar and the pickling solution.

    Select the veggies you want to pickle (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, etc.) and wash, dry, and break into florets or cut into pieces. Quickly parboil veggies for a minute and drain. Plunge the hot veggies immediately into the pickling solution in the jar (make sure to have a spoon inside the jar to distribute the heat and keep the glass from cracking due to the hot veggies hitting the cold solution). If you like things a bit spicier, use jalapeno pickle juice and jar and add your parboiled veggies to that instead.

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