|Half Sour Pickles|
Half sour pickles are a big delicatessen treat, but they’re easy to make at home–and cheaper than the store!
But years ago, I discovered how stupidly easy they are to make, so from then on, I made my own and saved about $4 over buying them at the supermarket.
|Why buy? They’re ridiculously easy to make!|
My old recipe had alum in it–that is no longer necessary because we now have refrigeration. The alum was just to keep the cukes from going spongy in a root cellar. I never saw the need for it and never used it. In the fridge, you don’t have to worry about “spongy.”
The best part of these pickles is that if, and that’s a big if, they last, they never go bad. They just go to full sour which are exactly like the barrel pickles from years ago.
In any fresh pack (or processed) pickles, it’s important to use either kosher salt or canning salt because these salts contain none of the chemicals that are used in table salt to keep it from clumping. It also has no iodine–which doesn’t react well in a pickling process. I’d advise buying kosher salt as you can use it so many other ways.
|Great with a sammy|
The amount of cucumbers you need is variable–because of the size of the cukes. If you can find small thinner ones, then they are perfect because they can remain whole and you can pack a load into a jar. If you grow your own–like I used to years ago–pick them before they get fat. The fat ones you can use for salads and bread & butter pickles because you have to slice them then.
- About 2 lbs pickling cucumbers (aka kirbys)
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup kosher or canning salt
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed (not necessary to peel)
- 1 tbs pickling spice
- 2-4 sprigs fresh dill
- Wash cucumbers well and slice off the stem and blossom ends.
- Wash 2 wide-mouth quart mason jars in hot soapy water; rinse.
- Place 3 cloves garlic, 1-2 sprigs of dill and ½ tbs pickling spice into each mason jar.
- Pack cucumbers into prepared jars--pack them as tightly as you can.
- If cucumbers are thick, you may have to slice them in half lengthwise or even quarters (like spears).
- Mix the water and salt in a large non-reactive (i.e. ceramic, stainless steel) bowl and stir until salt is dissolved.
- Pour enough salt water into each jar to cover cucumbers.
- Seal and refrigerate. It will take about a week until they are done on average, but check them in about 5 days.
- Makes 2 quarts.
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