I’ve got some bad news, folks: We’ve caught the pickling bug.
Exhibit A: Chloe:
With the drop in that excessively hot weather we’ve had last week, we’ve welcomed the pleasant, cool nights by stepping up our canning game. With open windows and doors, the cool breeze flows through the house as our kitchen warms up with boiling water. The smell of garlic, dill and vinegar hit the sinuses in ways that just do things to ya.
We’ve adapted our recipe from author Kevin West of Saving the Season. He shared his recipe for cucumber dills on NPR. With a few Farm 51 modifications, (basically just add grape leaves to the brine and jars to preserve crispiness, garlic scapes and added a hot pepper for spice), we present to you Vivi Pickles, named after our pitbull, Violet. I’m sure we’ll come up with products to name after all the other dozens of pets we have: Roscoe’s chicken and waffles?
I think that’s taken.
What about Gibby Chicken Giblets? Little chicken gizzard snacks for dogs made from farm fresh chicken.
In due time.
Crisp. Salty. Delicious.
What you need:
1/4 cup kosher salt
6 cups warm water
Flowering dill heads, stems split to release aromas
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 pounds of pickling cucumbers
1 bunch of garlic scapes
2 large grape leaves.
2 cups white-wine vinegar
5 whole chili peppers
For the pickles:
- Dissolve the salt in the water. Set aside.
- Wash the cucumbers well, rubbing off any spines. Trim the ends and slice lengthwise into quarters. Put the spears in a large canning pot, and cover with the brine and grape leaves. Weight the cucumbers down with another pot and add weight. Set aside for 24 hours at room temperature.
- We used our dishwasher to sterilize jars and set it overnight. But time your sterilization accordingly.
- The next day, combine all your seeds in a bowl and divide them in your jars. Pack the jars with one garlic scape or smashed clove, one flowering dill head and as many cucumber spears as you can. Measure out 2 cups of the brine.
- Mix the vinegar and the 2 cups reserved brine, and bring to a boil. Pour it over the pickles to cover. Seal the jars, and store in the refrigerator for a week before using. For long-term shelf storage, leave 1/2-inch head space when filling the jars, then seal. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, or in a hot-water bath, between 180 and 185 degrees, for 30 minutes.
You can catch these pickles at a Farm 51 farmstand near you. If I don’t eat them all myself.