YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Homemade Pickles!

When I arrived home from work the other evening, what did I find in the kitchen but a few jars of beautiful green pickles! These came straight from my daughter’s kitchen garden, which has continued to supply a happy and endless bounty of gorgeous, crunchy, green cucumbers over the past few weeks. If you would like to make these pickles but you don’t happen to have your own homegrown supply, just stop by the supermarket and pick up a package or two of small pickling cucumbers. You will be so glad you did!

small, whole cucumbers (6-10), blossom ends removed
whole garlic cloves (2-3), sliced thickly
1-2 tsp. dill, fresh or dried
1.5 cups water
3 Tbsp. Kosher salt
1 oak leaf or a generous pinch of black tea leaves

Completely dissolve salt in water to make a brine. Mix together the cucumbers, garlic, dill, and oak leaf or tea, and place everything in a fermentation container, crock, or glass jar. Pour the brine over the vegetables and spices until they are completely submerged. That part’s important, so be prepared to make more brine if necessary. Cover with cheesecloth or a small plate. 

Ferment your pickles for 7-14 days (or more) at room temperature in a cool corner of the house. Then fish out a little cucumber, have a bite, and see what you think. If they need more time to sour, leave them to ferment for a few more days and try again. When you decide they’re ready, they’re ready! Then move them to the refrigerator until they’re all gone. That’s it!

You can learn more about fermentation at culturesforhealth.com. I learned how to make pickles by watching my Grandma Rosie do it, but from what I can see things have not changed much since then.

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