You know I have a pickle heart…

“…and bitterness. And a wandering eye, and cucumbers in my head.

Don’t you remember?”

You'll need some clean, dry jars.

You’ll need some clean, dry jars.

Yes kids. Today we’re gonna learn how to pickle our own cucumbers. “Why?” you might ask.. Well it’s so that when the war & famine breaks out, you’ll have some pickled cucumbers to suck on while you’re hiding in your basement, listening to the bombs fall over the city. The screams of fright and terror from your neighbors might seem disturbing, but you won’t mind, because:

You’ve got pickles! (yay)

Like I’ve mentioned in a previous post: we’re travelling at the moment, so this is a draft that I wrote before we left the rathole we call home.

For this class we use the metric system of course – there’s no reason to turn all random & shit, so we’ll stick to the logical way of measuring things:

This is a 3 day project, but don’t worry: you don’t have to work 3 full days with this. The whole process is very quick and it’s a nice weekend project.

You’ll need some clean, dry jars, but first let’s start with

Friday:
The pickles need to be in brine (salt lake ) for 12-24 hours. Use 1 1/2 deciliter of salt per liter of water (and a few bay leaves just for fun). The cucumbers need to be covered in water in some kind of container (like a kettle with a lid or one of those plastic bowls that has a lid (Tupperware stuff).

The first thing you do is to wash the cucumbers thoroughly.
Then you wash them again.
Put them in a container of some sorts (plastic Tupperware, a kettle with a lid or something similar).
Cover the cucumbers in salt lake/brine, put a lid on and store the thing cold-ish for the next 12-24 hours. (a basement is fine if you’ve got one, or the fridge, or just a low tempered room).

Cucumbers in brine / salt lake, left cold over night (12-24 hours).

Cucumbers in brine / salt lake, left cold over night (12-24 hours – covered with a lid).

Saturday: 

Find out how much water you’ll need (it depends on the size of your jars and amount of cucumbers). You’ll fill the glasses with cucumbers and water, and then you’ll need a little bit of extra so you can spill some here & there…

According to the recipe this is  the proper mix ratio for the pickle juice:

Per 2 kilo of cucumber you’ll need 7,5 deciliter of water, 625 grams of sugar plus 1,25 deciliter of 35% vinegar/acetic acid.

Pour all the ingredients for the pickle juice in a kettle, mix it with a handful (or two) of mustard seeds (both black & yellow if you have), some whole pepper & cloves, and let it boil.

Remove the cucumbers from the salt lake / brine & gently wash them (you don’t want to wash them to much, because you want to keep some of the salt).

Fill the jars with cucumbers & put some twigs of dill in there as well. Don’t be afraid to really fill the jars! The cucumbers will shrink. (You can also add some pieces of carrot, lime, chili & shallots).

Pour the boiling pickle juice over the cucumbers in the jars (it’s smart to do this in the sink, because the sugary pickle juice is boiling hot and sticky).

Let it cool off before you put the lids on the cucumber filled jars.

Letting the cucumbers cool off, while limiting access for the occasional fly that'll happen to pass by...

Letting the cucumbers cool off, while limiting access for the occasional fly that’ll happen to pass by… (notice that there are holes in the silver foil to let the heat out).

Sunday: 

Pour the pickle juice out from the jars and back into a kettle. Bring it to a boil again before you pour it back into the jars.

Let it cool off again before you put the lids back on the jars.

Here you can see that the cucumbers acts like dicks in cold water...

Here you can see the shrinking effect: cucumbers act like dicks in cold water…

Now we play the waiting game…

Please don’t pickle too much with yourself while you’re waiting.

2-3 weeks later you can start eating the little bastards (I’m still looking forward to taste them myself).

And please keep this old saying in mind kids: don’t pickle too much with yourself!

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24 thoughts on “You know I have a pickle heart…

  1. I’ll be offline next weekend with what will be my first step: digging a basement as we don’t have one and it is very hot here now. ……oh wait! I think I’ll just go to the grocery store and by a couple of jars of pickles along with a couple of bottles of wine. All done.

  2. Oh the puns 😉 people LOVE pickling things here – they are maniacs. Think most of us grew up with grandmas who had pantries full of not just pickled cucumbers but carrots, beets, onions – whatever they could get their hands on! And jarring fruit in sugar to preserve it, making all manner of jams and jellies – because you never know when you might be storm stayed and you won’t be able to make it to the store 😉 I think it was a combination of rural living and memories of the great depression of the 1930’s that caused these behaviours but they seem to persevere even today because Shawn’s mom keeps bringing us jam even though we don’t eat bread, so we have a very nice collection forming in the back of our fridge 😉 we’re set!

    • I’ve just started my pickle career, but already I understand the old folks; I feel like pickling every little piece I happen to find now: plums, peaches, nuts, bolts & chastity belts… The list goes on and on.

      • lol chastity belts! That’s great – my bf made some simple pickles he calls ‘ice box pickles’ and he just slices up the cucumbers and puts them in a brine with I can’t even remember what all is in there but it includes the grainy mustard and they are just fantastic! He is off on a fishing trip right now, but I’ll have to get that recipe and post it up, he said it’s very simple and it’s been in the ‘Canadian Living’ magazine for eons so everyone’s mom and grandma has been making them for ever, and I was like not my family apparently, oops!

  3. Bwahahaha…. Clever, what a way to put that song line into motion. Very witty. Excellent post!

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