Monday, September 3, 2012

Can-Do Papa's 24-Hour Pickles

I  have the greatest papa in the world. He has brought my family red-beet eggs, maple syrup salmon and the refrigerator staple 24-hour pickles.
As a little girl, I remember this great ceramic pot we had. Sometimes it was used to store my mom's homemade cookies, sometimes my sisters would try to make me wear it as a hat, but mostly it was used for homemade pickles.

 My mom made these great batches of pickles. We used to go to a local farm called The Foodbank Farm where we had a share and we'd buy pickling cukes almost every week. But her recipe required a lot of sitting around and waiting for cukes to sourify.

The Food Bank Farm

I would never have believed in such a thing as 24 hour pickles except that I've met and ate them. These are sour, crispy and extremely fresh-tasting. My sister and I (she who no longer tries to put the pot on my head) will frequently encounter each other in the kitchen as we both go in for pickle snacks. This, of course, results in a brief chat as we ladies crunch away.

Here's the recipe as directly written by The Can-Do Man himself:
Bonus Points if the dill is from your friend's garden

12 pickling cucumbers
1 tablespoon canning salt or kosher salt (vary as desired)
½ cup fresh dill (vary as desired)
1/2 onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced thin
1 teaspoon mustard or celery seeds
1 cup vinegar (vary as desired)
3 cups water
1 grape leaf to ensure crispness (optional)

1. Select the cucumbers
a. A good one is dark green, firm, not bloated with lots of warts.
b. Overripe cucumbers made mushy pickles.
2. Wash and cut the cucumbers
a. Use cold water
b. Cut ¼ inch off the ends (optional)
c. Cut into 1/6 length-wise wedges to ensure thorough pickling 
3. Put cucumbers in jar
4. Mix the pickling mix, vinegar and water and bring to a near boil
5. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers to cover
6. Close jar
7. Refrigerate

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