I know that I am constantly trying to keep up with my garden but we often think that it is not big enough. Shocking, I know. As it turns out, 5 cucumber plants are not enough. I have been in the habit of harvesting and then storing until I can collect enough to make a quart of pickles. Some days The Pickle Fairy yields a high number of little prickly cukes; some days the fairy hides the fruit under leaves and next thing you know, I have cucumbers the size of a state fair zucchini. One slice per sandwich, please.
Since I have small quantities of cucumbers coming in intervals, I have made numerous small batches of pickles. Really, who needs a recipe calling for 6lbs of cucumbers? Production farmers I tell you, not crazy small time hobbiest.
Aside from the quantity of pickles, most of the recipes that I have come across are laborious. Brine here, soak there, store for months, skim the foam and reheat brine daily! Too much work for me. I have made one batch of brined pickles but they are not ready yet, I will let you know if all the work is worth it….. when I can eat them.
Until then, I will be chowing down on quick pickles. These pickles are fresh and crunchy. If you desire they can be processed in a boiling water canner for long term storage.
- 8-16, 3-6” cucumbers, sliced into rounds (slice thinner if pickles are to be eaten that day and up to ¼” thick for canning)
Brine: (enough to fill 2 quart jars)
- 1.5c white vinegar
- 1c cider vinegar
- 2.5c water
- 1Tb kosher salt
- 1Tb sugar
- 1T (or more!) thinly sliced onion
- 1T dill
- 1tsp black peppercorns
- Pinch chili flakes
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
If you are in need of a quick pickle fix, boil together the brine and jar ingredients together, pour over cukes, and let them sit for a few hours at room temp then move them into the refrigerator for storage. They can be eaten that day, but will taste best given at least a week to rest.
For long term storage, bring the brine to a boil. Add the per jar ingredients to hot jars.
Adding measured ingredients per jar gives specific flavor control and allows for easy variation in small batches.
Pack cucumbers firmly into hot jars taking care to fill the space without leaving too many open pockets. Cover with hot brine to 1/2” head space. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.