In a Pickle

I have been having many sweet memories of my late Grandpa in the last few weeks.  He passed away in 1998 from an aggressive brain tumor. He was my role model, my friend, and my partner in crime as a kid.   He and I had many things in common: We loved to fish, had a passion for music, loved our dogs, loved the garden, and LOVED dill pickles.  I have fond memories of Gramps and me in the kitchen, stewing up brine for our prickly cucumbers and anxiously awaiting the week we could open the first jar.

Today I ran across those same prickly cucumbers at my favorite farm stand and decided I would spend the afternoon making pickles.  I used the basic brine below and added my own special seasonings to carry on tradition. The smell in the kitchen reminded me so much of the good times we had when he was here. Even after 15 years, it felt like he was right there with me making sure those pickles were picture perfect.

Here are the basic ingredients for the brine used for three pounds of cucumbers, a whole bunch of dill weed, and 4 cloves of garlic:

2 Cups white vinegar

2 Cups water

1/4 Cups of Canning Salt

1/8 Cups of Sugar

Add all ingredients together on the stove, bringing to a boil. Keep at a slow boil for 15 minutes. Add to cucumbers, garlic, and dill weed in sanitized jars and fill to the top leaving 1/4 inch from the rim. Add the rims (also boiled for sanitation) and secure the rings.  Boil another 5 minutes to ensure sealing. Keep in a cool dry place for at least 2 weeks.

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