Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For the Love of Pickles

I'm very sad today.  I'm realizing I didn't make nearly enough dill pickles last summer while there were cucumbers in the garden.  The Pickle Keeper is almost empty.  And it's only January.  That means it's 7 more months until there'll be cucumbers ready to pick out there again.

I might just cry.

Or break down and buy a few cucumbers at the grocery store...

Here's a peek inside my 1980's vintage 2-quart Tupperware Pickle Keeper.  If I find any of these at a thrift store or yard sale, I think I'd like to have a couple more.  They are lovely, wonderful, useful things.  Maybe Tupperware still makes them?  But if you know me you know that I am cheap, so I'll look around for awhile before I even consider getting a new one in this year's pretty designer colors.

Since there's no water bath processing involved, I'm not sure this really qualifies as canning but I've done it this way... well, since the '80s and have never had spoilage.  I've even cheated and re-used the brine.  Yikes! The pickle confessions are coming out!!

The recipe came to me from my Mother's good friend, Bea Williams.  The Williams' lived across the street from us in Idaho Falls when I was a little kid and she was always my (honorary) Aunt Bea.  I think I was well into school-age years before I realized we weren't really related.  Bea was a simple woman.  She worked hard all her life and had a very strong sense of right and wrong and exemplified the idea that you just treat people well.  She is one of the kindest and most generous adults I remember being part of my childhood.  Every kid should have an Aunt Bea!

To make Aunt Bea's pickles simply pack whole small cucumbers (or larger ones cut into wedges about that same size as you can see I did in the photo) into 1-quart jars with dill weed and sliced garlic according to your taste.

Add to each jar:
2 Tbl salt
1 cup vinegar
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp alum
pinch of pickling spice

Fill each jar with cold water. Put on caps and sealers and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Ready to eat after 3-4 weeks. Can be stored up to a year.

(I make a double batch directly in the Pickle Keeper and just push it to the back of the fridge for a few weeks.)

I linked this post to Homemaking Link-Up #59

And to the Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up at Serenity Now

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