The Great Family Pickle Experiment

IMG_0117-001Do you like pickles?  Are you a kosher dill person or a bread and butter pickles person?  Travel Man and I like the kosher, dill variety.  Yum, yum.  My Dad was the first one to make homemade pickles, over the summer.  His recipe uses a whey liquid to ferment the pickles in the refrigerator.  The first batch he made turned out spectacularly well.  They tasted great.  Good flavor, nice crunch.  He’s had some difficulties duplicating that first batch, and that inspired me to find my own recipe.  Oh and I forgot to mention I grew my own cucumbers too.  The baby plants survived a 108 degree heat, and we have had a nice crop of pickling cucumbers over the past few months.

IMG_0149-001This is my Dad.  We made a big batch of pickles in my kitchen over the summer, and had quite an assembly line going.  Travel Man helped him get the cucumbers ready.  They measured all of the spices into the jars, added the whey liquid, and voila they were ready to go into the refrigerator.

This is my Dad’s recipe.  It has a kosher style flavor, and lots of crunch.

JIM’S DILL PICKLES

Makes 1 Quart

Ingredients: 

    • 6-8 Pickling cucumbers
    • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
    • 1 clove garlic, chopped
    • 5-6 stalks of fresh dill, if in doubt, add more
    • 1 tablespoon sea salt
    • 4 tablespoons whey liquid
    • Filtered water-no chlorine!

Directions:

Wash the cucumbers to remove dirt. Cut into halves or quarters. Trim length, if necessary.  Add mustard seed and garlic to the quart jar.  Pack cucumbers tightly into the jar, adding dill as you go.  Mix the sea salt and whey liquid in 2 cups of water and pour over the cucumbers. Add water to cover the cucumbers, fill to about 1 in. below the top of the jar.  Seal the jar and invert once or twice to mix the liquid.

Keep at room temperature for 3 days and then store in the fridge. The pickles will be ready to eat in 3-4 weeks.

The whey liquid is made from yogurt. One large container will give you enough whey liquid for 4-6 jars.  Place a towel over a strainer and add the yogurt. The whey liquid will drip through slowly.  When it stops, tie up the towel loosely and let it drip some more. Once it stops, the milk solids  can be saved as cream cheese. This will keep for a week or 2 in the fridge.

This is a slow process, allow one day to produce the whey liquid. You can store it in a glass container in the fridge. It should keep for several months.

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The recipe Travel Man and I used is from food.com.  These are our new favorite pickles.

Refrigerator Kosher Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

Pickling Liquid-

    • 1-1/2 cups water, boiled and cooled
    • 1 cup white vinegar, 5% acidity

For each quart jar add-

    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons dill seeds
    • 1/4 tsp. celery seeds
    • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp. mustard flakes
    • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3-6 cucumbers (depending on size)

Directions:

Add the salt and spices to each jar.  Add cucumbers sliced, whole (ends trimmed) or spears, packing them in tightly.  We also added the trimmed ends, and they made little pickles chips.  Fill the jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Add pickling liquid to cover the cucumbers.  Put a lid and a ring on the jar.  Shake the jar for a few seconds to distribute the salt and spices evenly.

Refrigerate the pickles for 7 days (Travel Man was opening them on the 4th day!).  Shake the jar for a few seconds everyday during the first 7 days to keep the salt and spices distributed.   The finished jars will last for approximately 6 months in the refrigerator.

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The one caution that I have about this recipe is watch out for the red pepper flakes.  They make the pickles quite spicy, and me being the spicy weenie that I am,  I could have done without them.  As a matter of fact our second batch had no red pepper flakes.  They were amazing.  Great flavor, good crunch.  I know I have mentioned that before, but they really taste so good.  The pickling cucumbers will definitely be a staple in the garden next year.  Our next adventure with the kosher dill recipe will be to make pickle chips, oh yum.  I will update you once those are completed.  Hopefully this week.

If your feeling adventurous, want to try a new recipe, and like pickles try one of these recipes.  You’ll be glad you did.  Remember each of these recipes is written for (1) one quart jar.  I had a lot of fun getting the cucumbers going in the garden, and then making some great pickles that Travel Man and my Dad enjoyed.  Most recently a jar went home with my sister to Montana.  This could become a nationwide phenomena.

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3 Responses to The Great Family Pickle Experiment

  1. Pingback: Dill Pickle Ale… The Apocalyptic Version. « The Girl Can Brew

  2. megtraveling says:

    I love kosher dill pickles and I’m going to try this recipe – thanks Renee!

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