Thursday, July 8, 2010

I loved learning how to make my own pickles!!

I was reading 1gdcowgrl's blog the other day about her mom's homemade pickles and I knew right away that I was going to buy pickling cucumbers at my Farmer's Market the next day!

I went to the grocery store in the morning and purchased pickling salt and alum. I always have a giant jug of vinegar on hand, because I use it to clean :) I also decided to make mine in smaller jars so I could give some away to friends and family.

I started the process by running my jars through the dishwasher and washing my cucumbers.

I'm growing dill in my garden this year, but I only had three dill heads, so I just used a bunch of fresh dill in addition to the dill heads.

I layered my jars with cucumbers, dill, and garlic while the vinegar/water mixture was heating. I sprinkled the top of each jar with the alum. Since I split the recipe into several jars, I just measured the alum called for into a small dish and used a 1/2 tsp to divide it between my jars.

I did also add peppercorns and red pepper flakes to a few of my jars. Then, I ladled the vinegar mixture into each jar until they were full to the brim!

Day 1: All the jars loaded and sitting on my counter for 24 hours before refrigerating. The hardest part of this process is knowing you won't get to eat them right away!!

Day 2: Notice how they are starting to look more like pickles instead of cucumbers!

Day 3: We're getting closer!!!

Day 4: I sampled them and I thought for sure they were goners. They tasted like metal with a terrible after taste and the centers were still crisp with a sweet cucumber taste. After going through all the trouble of making them, I decided to let them sit for a couple of extra days and try them again before pitching them. I'm glad I did!!!

Day 6: I sampled one tonight and they are delicious! I like the ones that I added the red pepper flakes to the best. Not spicy, but just a little extra punch. I have seven jars....who wants one?! :)


  1. That looks awesome, Kathleen...I want to make pickles this year, too, so I appreciate the how-to! P.S. I like this blog way better...LOL! No stress!

  2. So glad you liked them, Kat! Mine have also gotten better the longer they've been sitting. My next batch will have some red peppers in them. MMmmmm!!

  3. Kathleen you are very talented. It's weird that I can't stand commercial pickles but I LOVE home made. My aunt used to make a home-made kind in a 5-gallon bucket, but she put cinnamon sticks in with hers. Sounds weird but they were so yummy! Yours look just delicious and I wish I had some to put on my buffalo chicken burgers Thursday night because that would be so good!! Keep up the great work! :) Also-not sure if you have been there yet but there is a small grocery store down by Grand Ave. Chris and I found Monday, I think it was called Whole's interesting if you get a chance to stop in there!

  4. Ha! I didn't recognize you as seawillow :) Nice to see you!
    Abbey- Is that the health food store near Mr. Beans? I've been curious, but haven't stopped there yet. Any great finds?

  5. These pickles look wonderful! Have they stayed crisp? Some homemade pickles I've had are a little too soft for my liking. I like a nice, crunchy pickle. :) Beautiful pics, btw!

  6. They look beautiful! What is alum? I never heard of that.....but I also don't do any canning either.

  7. Yepp, it's the one by Mr. Beans. Well, it's basically all organic, they have an excellent vitamin section and good produce. Their meat prices about made me pass out, I believe it was a whole chicken (range-fed) for somewhere around $22! I'll stick to my $3 Hyvee chickens, hehe. They also have lots of healthy, organic snacks for the little ones and I saw a few good prices in there.

  8. Jennifer- Yesterday was day only time will tell, but they were nice and crisp yesterday!

    MSC...I found Alum in the Tones Spices. Look it up in Wikipedia- it's interesting and this was my first experience with it!

    Abbey- thanks for the info. I'll have to add it to my list of places to check out!