Making Quick Pickles: A Summertime Adventure
We are a family that loves pickles and there is nothing like having them homemade and fresh from the garden! Heather of Poppy Haus is with us today to share a lovely recipe for making a quick batch…
We are lucky to live in a part of California where the farmlands meet the ocean, and you can lose yourself in the rolling hills peppered with wild dill. On a recent sunny summer day, we took a drive down a winding back road near the town of Tomales, and found a little creek with blackberry bushes and a wild dill grove. My boys worked together to clip some blooms to bring back home for a day of pickling cucumbers.
I have the apparatus to do home canning, but with young kids, I prefer refrigerator pickling, which takes little time or skill, and yields a nice, crunchy pickle slice. You just have to make small batches, and eat them within a few weeks, which is is no problem for my family. If you can’t find wild dill growing in your area, it’s in season now and readily available at most grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Here’s the recipe:
Quick Dill Sandwich Pickles
- 3 pounds small pickler cucumbers (Kirby or Liberty)
- 3 cups white distilled vinegar
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup pickling salt (fine)
- 3 tablespoons pickling spice (a blend of bay leaf, allspice, mustard seed)
- 4 fresh dill heads
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled (1 per jar)
- 1 teaspoon dill seed per jar (4 teaspoons total)
1. Hot wash and dry 4 pint sized wide mouth jars and lids
(I use Ball’s plastic storage caps for refrigerator pickles)
2. Wash and slice the cucumbers to about .5cm thick.
3. Put the pickling spice in a layer of cheese cloth, and tie into a pouch with bakers twine.
4. In a large pot, combine vinegar, water, salt, and spice pouch. Bring to a simmer.
5. Arrange jars on counter and place dill heads, garlic, and dill seeds to each.
6. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars.
7. Pour the brine into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch head space.
8. Tap jars gently on countertop to dislodge any trapped air bubbles.
9. Apply caps and let jars cool.
10. When they’ve returned to room temperature, place jars in refrigerator. Let them sit for a day before eating.