What foods say ‘summer' to you? Watermelon surely is on that list, in addition to ice cream and hamburgers…right? And while thanks to the science of preserving dill pickles are eaten year-round, making refrigerator dill pickles is surely a summer thing given the fresh cucumbers that are hanging from the vines in our gardens.
Are you a dill pickle person or a sweet pickle person? I am fully, without equivocation, in the dill pickle camp. There are very few foods I really don't like but sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles are at the top of that list (sorry if I've offended any of my sweet pickle friends). But, dill pickles? They are at the top of my ‘foods I love' list..and that list of my family members as well.
And not just any dill pickles…we are die-hard Clausen-type pickle people…the refrigerated kind of pickle that crunches when you bite into it. No heated pickles in this house.
Did you Know: We have William Shakespeare to thank for the phrase “in a pickle”; “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle” are lines in The Tempest.
So with a booming cucumber crop this summer, we are “in a (happy) pickle!” ( I know, but I just couldn't resist!)
We grow two varieties of cucumbers each summer, a pickler, and regular slicing cucumber. This year we planted 3 Boston Pickling Cucumbers and 3 Dasher II Cucumbers, lovely dark green slicing cucumbers. Since amending my soil this spring, our cucumbers are doing much better than last year and I've already put up 8 jars of pickles, though there are only 5 jars of Refrigerator Dill Pickles left…hmmm…
With my three pickler vines, I get a steady stream of about 2-3 cukes every other day or so. I like to can them as soon as possible to keep them as crisp as possible which pretty much necessitates me putting up a jar every other day or so.
So I ‘developed' a recipe that helps me quickly can the cukes when harvested. This recipe is based on a variety of recipes I have used in my quest of replicating that Clausen pickle taste that we are seeking and has the additional benefit of leaving out some of the unnecessary (in my book) additives that even my beloved Clausens contain.
The element of this recipe that allows for the quick processing of your picklers is to mix up a batch of the brine (water, vinegar, and salt) and keep it in your fridge, perfect for small batch dill pickles. Once you have enough cucumbers for a jar (2-3 picklers typically fill a pint jar) it's just a matter of preparing your cukes, adding some garlic, mustard seed, dill and filling your jar with your prepared brine…and presto…Refrigerator Dill Pickles! Done and Done!
Did you Know: In his 1492 voyage in which he discovered America, Columbus rationed pickles to his sailors to keep them from getting scurvy. He even grew cucumbers during his stop in Haiti to restock for the rest of the voyage.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 10 pickle spears Serving Size: 1 pickle spear
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 9 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 96mg Carbohydrates: 1g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 0g
So there you have it my friends…easy peasy refrigerator dill pickles. I plucked 3 picklers off of the vines last night, so I'm heading to the kitchen to add to my dill pickle inventory. And since Kate (aka ‘The Incredible Pickle Consumer') is home for a couple of days pickle my inventory will be quickly depleted.
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today and I hope you have the opportunity put up a jar of these refrigerator dill pickles!
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