I love pickles. I LOVE THEM. I am especially a fan of cold-packed kosher dill pickles (think Claussen) with a ton of garlic. I am the one who will ask you if you’re going to eat the pickle that comes as a side with your sandwich. Good deli pickles are fantastic. However, years ago when I had a real, salt-brined, “half-sour” pickle on a relish plate at a fantastic pile-sandwiches-super-high delicatessen, everything else became relegated to second place, at best. Half-sour is the way to go.
I am sort of half sour pickle cursed — I live in Oklahoma, where I have not been able to find an actual, real, true, half-sour pickle. I even bought a jar of “half-sour pickles” recently and cracked them open the MINUTE we got home … Only to notice that the label said half-sour, but the lid said “Kosher dill.” They were kosher. Foiled again.
Looks like I’m just gonna have to do it myself! Let’s do some picklin’!
Earlier this week, my guy saw a produce stand when he was out and about and stopped to check it out. He came home with a some medium sized pickling cucumbers, citing my recent lamentation (read: bitching) over my horrifying lack of half-sours. I had bought some big jars a few weeks ago — sort of a if you build it, they will come moment. If I buy these big-ass jars, somehow the pickles will be created! Science! Magic! Spontaneous pickilization! Then I found more cukes at the farmers market, and I couldn’t ignore the signs.
I took what I know about pickling (which is some) and what I know I LIKE about pickling (a lot) and set to doing onlines with the Google to try to put together a recipe based on the chemistry and flavor profile. The salt-to-water ratio averaged about 1 tablespoon of pickling salt to 1 cup of water. The ratio is different for different types of salt (like Kosher salt, sea salt, pink salt) but you definitely can’t use iodized salt. It wrecks the pickles.
The great thing about this, and most pickle, recipes is that once you have the basics of your brine (salt and water) you can adapt the recipe to your own taste with different spices. Crushed red pepper for some spice, dill if you like dill, celery seed, ginger, more onions, extra pepper — the sky is the limit, really. Who needs to be at the mercy of pickle makers? LOOK HERE, VLASIC STORK, IVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR SHENANIGANS.
I can’t wait to crack into these bad boys in a few days. I also can’t wait to hoard the jar to myself and see how many cukes I can get so I can make more. Mine! You can make your own! (And you CAN!)
On the advice if my friend Anjanette, I have put an actual real recipe with actual, real measurements (science food) and a thingy that should let you collect, print, and maybe even save it. I’m here for your comfort, and I live to serve. All the pics are in the recipe thingamabobber.