Do you know what it means to “be in a pickle”?
It means to have a dilema or a problem. Thankfully, I’m not “in a pickle”.
But, I did make some pickles.
Do you know how to make pickles? Well, if not, today is your day to learn!
A few days ago, I mentioned mason jars in this post. What do mason jars and pickles have in common?
Canning means to preserve fresh fruits and veggies in mason or glass jars so you will have them to enjoy long after their season of growing ends. It’s a fun family project that makes a cool summer tradition.
Here’s a picture of an ancient picture of my first canning project. We had about 5000 tomatoes coming out of our garden so we decided to can, or preserve them. The first 10 jars were filled with homemade salsa…my all-time favorite food after eggs, bread, cucumbers, bread, chocolate, bread, fish, and bread.
Here are a few of the 5000 tomatoes and me from 1998…that was such a fun summer!
We made pickles that summer too. Can you guess which veggie pickles are before they are pickles? Don’t look at the picture below…try to guess.
If you guessed or cheated and said cucumbers…you are super duper correct! One of my favorite things to do with fresh cucumbers is to make pickles.
Here’s how and the printable recipe is below:
First you make the pickle juice. Pour water and white vinegar into a pot.
Next, add some sugar.
Then add pickling salt. Bring the pickle juice to a boil, lower and let simmer about 10-15 minutes until the sugar and salt dissolve. Them remove pot from the heat.
While the pickle juice is simmering, peel the cucumber and measure to see how the spears will fit into the jars. I used pint jars so my pickles ended up being about 3 inches long.
Most important canning tip: Use clean and sterilized jars and lids!! Have an adult help you with this part which basically means wash them with soapy water, rinse and then simmer in a pot of hot water for at least 5 minutes.
Next, cut the cucumber into spears. I started with cutting mine into quarters but they seemed to wide, so I cut each spear one more time ending with eighths. Confused? Me too. Don’t worry, just cut em’ the size and shape you like ‘em.
Place the spears into the jars but make sure they don’t reach all the way to the tippy top of the jar.
Then, using a ladle or a liquid measuring cup, fill each jar almost to the tippy top with pickle juice. Leave about 1/2″ space between top of pickles and the lid.
Put the seals and lids on and place in them on the counter so they can cool to room temperature. Once they’ve cooled, don’t open them until the next day. The longer you let them sit, the more pickle flavor you will have. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a month.
How easy is this? Super-duper-easy-schmeezy, that’s how easy!
If our 5 year old kids at camp can make them, so can YOU!
This is the simplest recipe. You could add fresh dill, chopped onion, or even a jalapeno if you are a spicy kind of kid.
Have fun this summer and make these with your friends or family. They make great gifts too!
- 3-4 large cucumbers
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 1-2 sprigs fresh dill (optional)
- 6 pint mason jars, lids and seals
- Wash and rinse jars well. Place jars in a large pot of hot water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes; turn off heat and let jars sit in hot water until ready to use.
- Place lids and seals in a small pot of hot water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes; turn off heat and let lids sit in hot water until ready to use.
- In a large pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and pickling salt. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
- Rinse, peel and cut cucumbers into 3-4 inch spears. Remove jars, lids and seals from hot water.
- Pack cucumber spears loosely into hot, steralized canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add 1-2 sprigs of fresh dill to each jar if using.
- Fill each jar with the hot pickle juice, again leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and place seal and lid on it. Allow to stand at room temperature for an hour, then place into refrigerator overnight. Pickles are best after 3-4 days of refrigeration. Store pickles in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.