Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs. And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form. (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.) And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments. And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!
Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone. As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice. But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares. Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich. As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves. Mmmmm. Yeah, it was weird. But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it. That's now on the worldwide webs. Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information. Haha.
Back to pickles. Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home? Yes they are, and now you know that too. Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila! Pickles.
Recipe adapted from my mama
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Makes about 24 servings
3 1/2 cups / 830g water
1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
1 Tbsp / 17g salt
1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
2 cloves garlic
2 heads fresh dill
1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional
Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.
I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!
1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar
2) If you love dill, use more dill
3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers
4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice
5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.
The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.