Pickling is old and ancient and that means we can do it better, right? Right! Get some cucumbers and get to it. I like a simple, tangy pickles and only half soured like the delis! Pickles are positively people pleasing party snacks that are versatile and go with everything! Set out some dill and lay out a bunch of fresh sliced rounds with mustard and pretzels in pinch.
Cucumbers – any will do, but I prefer Persian or gherkins with all the bumps
1 small stick of cinnamon or a strip of it – whole
20 – 30 peppercorns
1 clove garlic – whole
2-3 cloves – whole
1 T Sugar more or less to taste, I use none, so optional
3-4 juniper berries – optional
1 or 2 large jars
Cut the cucumber tops off, the tip of the cucumber produces an enzyme that softens the entire cucumber unless removed. You can the cut each cucumber into halves, quarters or leave whole depending on preference.
Place the cucumbers in the jars in a neatly fashion, very neatly. make them “neat”.
Fill each cucumber-filled jar with the white vinegar up to 3/4 ways full.
In a pot place the spices and turn heat to high. toss the spices around until you can smell them.
Add the vinegar from 1 jar into the hot pot infusing the spice into the vinegar.
Add another the other cup of vinegar from the cucumbers into the pot and stir.
Cool the vinegar a few minutes and then pour over each jar of cucumbers and add the cinnamon stick and some peppercorns to each jar evenly.
If you like you could add sugar to 1 jar and not the other to create a selection of tasty pickles, vary the amounts of sugar to taste until you get your preferred balance.
Fill the remaining 1/4 of the jar with cold water and seal with the lids.
Shake up the jars to get the water and vinegar evenly distributed. let pickle for 3-5 days and enjoy for weeks!
After 2 days half sour cucumbers are awesome alone or on sandwiches like a Cubano!
This basic recipe is easy and fast, you can tweak it a million ways and change up the veggies. Try pickled radish, carrot, or hot peppers.
*Use the pickle juice on salads as dressing with olive oil and salt