Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I decided that one thing I wanted to do in my break between summer and fall grad school sessions was start making pickles. I love pickles more than the next person. And reminiscing with my good friend who now lives out of the country about the day, down in Champaign many years ago, we sat on the steps at 1001 on a boiling hot day running the hose over our feet and eating pickles clinched the deal.

Now, we're not talking the kind that can be put up for the winter (although that may be next), I'm just talking about wonderful, delicious refrigerator pickles. No fancy equipment required.

-Mason jars
-white vinegar (5% acidity)
-pickling salt
-white onion
-mustard seeds
-celery seeds
-black peppercorns
-dried red chili peppers

First sterilize the jars. You can run them through the dishwasher, I just handwashed them in really hot, soapy water.

Into each jar (use as many as you want) pack in a bunch of chopped dill, a garlic clove (or two, I can't remember) chopped in half, your sliced pickles (cut any way you like, I did rounds, I have an irrational dislike of spears) one of the sliced red chili peppers and a bunch of thinly sliced onions.

In a non-reactive pan put 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water (for 2 jars I used 1 1/2 cups vinegar and 1/2 cup water). Now, I found my pickles to be a little too vinegary so I may cut this ratio a little bit). Add a hearty does of salt, a tablespoon or two of the seeds, peppercorns and bring just to a boil.

Using a funnel, pour the vinegar solution into the jars and hand tighten. Set out to cool and then refrigerate for up to a week or so.

Now, of course, I only made it until about 3:00pm the next day before I tried one and they were delicious!!! I hit the farmers market this week for more pickles to use. I'm going to keep playing around with the recipe and will let you know how it goes!

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