Pickles bring so many wonderful memories to mind. They have always been a favorite of mine. When I was little it was always a real treat to spend the night with my friend, Liz. She was the only person I was allowed to spend the night with on a school night. Oh what a rebel I'd feel like staying up late on a tuesday! But that wasn't even the best part. I could eat all the pickles I wanted! Unlike my house, where a strict ONE was allowed (one of the few rules I didn't mind breaking). But not at Liz's. Straight down the middle, we'd divide the jar, stay up late and share stories and schoolgirl giggles.
It has been years since I have seen Liz, but I always think of her when I eat those delicious vinegary cukes : ) And I can still down a jar in no time flat. Proven to be true this past week! E and I made summer pickles. We made them last year, devoured them and have talked about making them again since. A friend of mine gave me some fresh picked vegetables, and with summer coming to a close, it seemed like perfect timing. (AND, those beautiful blue anniversary BALL jars? Has anyone seen them? I have been dying to do something with them, even though I don't have those pictured!)
Summer Quick Picks
2 cups seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
2/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
5 Tbs. sugar
4 Tbs. kosher salt
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. dill seed
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. Aleppo chili flakes
Tomatoes (green, red and black!)
Jalapeno Peppers (sometimes I am brave enough to throw those in)
Once the cucumbers are cleaned and cut, place them in a bowl with a table spoon or two of salt to draw some of the water out of them. About an hour will do the trick.
For the Brine: Mix together the vinegars, water, salt and sugar on the stove top. When it starts to boil, toss in the garlic cloves, fennel seed, coriander seed, mustard seed, dill seed and aleppo chilli flakes. Whisk together and let it sit for about five minutes.
Arrange the cucumbers, tomatoes, Vidalia onions and peppers in jars. Place fresh dill at the top of the stack. Pour the brine over the stacks until the jar is full. Once the jar is cooled, lids can be placed on top and placed in the fridge! They will be ready the next day, and will keep for about two weeks.
I hope this is a lasting tradition on Humphrey Street! I just absolutely love making them! And of course, eating them, too!