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Old 07-07-2014, 04:44 PM   #11
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An Americas Test Kitchen article on brining provided the following:

Ratio of Table Salt to Morton's Kosher to Diamond Crystal Salt - 1.0:1.5:2.0 when measuring by volume.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:45 AM   #12
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Cuke meet jar.

Thanks Steve.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:22 PM   #13
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Oh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
My grandma Olson was an avid canner. I remember a heavy wooden shelf in her cellar always being loaded with dozens and dozens of jars of preserved vegetables, pickles, and jams/jellies.

Her pickles were, without a doubt, my favorites.

My grandmother's philosophy on pickles was that you did water bath canning in the fall, and ate those during the winter months. Summer, however, was the time to make refrigerator pickles. Those are the ones I really liked. Unlike the canned pickles, which were essentially cooked in a water bath to preserve them, the summer pickles were raw and had a much fresher taste and crunchier texture.

Refrigerator pickles are ridiculously easy to make, and so tasty that they don't tend to hang around for very long. I make some every couple weeks, usually on Saturday mornings after I get back from the farmer's market. I also like to make them in small batches of a few pints at a time. Remember, they are not built for the long term, although they will certainly last for a while if you need them to. With winter canning, my brine is usually a 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar. For summer pickles, I go a bit lighter on the vinegar. I also use about half the salt. So if you're sodium conscious, this is a pretty good recipe.

Feel free to alter the recipe below as you see fit. You don't have to use cucumbers, but note that some vegetables might require blanching for a few minutes in boiling water to soften them. The rule of thumb I use is that if you normally would eat the vegetable raw, then you can pickle it raw. For example, cukes, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi slices. Vegetables that usually require blanching are pearl onions, asparagus, and green beans.

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Makes 3 pints

Basic Brine:
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups of your favorite vinegar (must be at least 5% acidity)
  • 1 tbsp canning salt

Spices, for each pint of pickles use:
  • 1 tsp pickling spice (recommend Penzeys)
  • 2 4-inch fronds of fresh dill
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or one small dried red chile, such as a pequin
  • For a stronger dill flavor, I'll also usually add an additional teaspoon of dill seed
  • 10-12 small cucumbers, cleaned well and sliced as desired.
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and prepare your vegetables.
  2. In each [scrupulously clean] pint jar, add the spices/flavorings as indicated. Double for quart jars.
  3. Tightly pack as many veggies as you can into each jar. Pour the hot brine into the jars until it is within a half inch of the top. If you have any veggie "floaters," wedge them between other pieces, so they are fully submerged. Lightly screw on the lids and let the jars sit on the counter top until cool enough to handle.
  4. Put the jars in the fridge and leave to cure for 3-5 days before eating.
  5. Use within six weeks. If you plan to keep pickles longer, use a 1:1 water vinegar ratio and double the salt.

Oh, I forgot about those! They must be a "Scandahoovian" thing, my grandmother always had a jar in the fridge in the summer. I remember my mom and I making those every summer. We'd just keep adding cukes to the brine in the fridge as the 1/2 gal. jar emptied.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:00 AM   #14
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Bless your heart, Steve, this sounds really easy! Copied and saved, and thank you!

My cukes are looking good in the garden so far, too. Yay!
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:33 AM   #15
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The chipmunks made sure I have no fresh dill this year and I have a pile of cukes on my table waiting to be pickled. Anyone have an idea of how much dried dill I would need to sub for the fresh? I have dillweed but I can also get my hands on dill seed if needed.

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Old 07-22-2014, 08:59 AM   #16
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...Anyone have an idea of how much dried dill I would need to sub for the fresh? I have dillweed but I can also get my hands on dill seed....
Personally, I don't think I would use dried dill weed, since it doesn't really have much flavor. Dill seed works well. As stated in the recipe, I add 1 tsp per pint. Nothing beats fresh dill, though, if you can find it. I was able to get some this last weekend at the farmers market. But I don't know if that's an option for you. Some grocery stores also sell fresh herbs.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:01 PM   #17
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If I can get to the farmer's market I might be able to get some. My schedule makes it difficult to get there when most of the vendors are there. I haven't found any in the grocery stores around here. You wouldn't add any extra seed to make up for the missing fresh?

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Old 07-22-2014, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

I use dill seed as well in my pickles and dilly beans, works just fine. IMHO, a little extra dill seed doesn't hurt. The Tiger Swallowtail caterpillers usually got my dill when I grew it, and I let them.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #19
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You wouldn't add any extra seed to make up for the missing fresh?
I can't say for certain, but it sure wouldn't hurt to try it. I'm thinking you may have to let the pickles sit a while longer, as I don't think the flavor will be extracted from the seeds as quickly as with the fresh.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I can't say for certain, but it sure wouldn't hurt to try it. I'm thinking you may have to let the pickles sit a while longer, as I don't think the flavor will be extracted from the seeds as quickly as with the fresh.
Would crushing the dill seeds help in releasing the flavor any better? How about putting them in a spice grinder? Or pressing them with the bottom of a pan like they do with peppercorns?
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