Last night, after Laura went to bed, I stayed up and watched Fargo once again. What a great movie! But, while I was watching, I started craving a snack. Now, as we are all probably sitting around watching TV more and eating more, I felt guilty about going for the chips or nuts: too many calories and I am not able to play tennis, so I am not getting enough exercise. I thought, boy, I wish I had some nice pickles to munch on; almost no calories, satisfying acid and sweet crunch, I needed some! So today I went on a pickle-making binge. I pickled cucumbers, carrots and celery, asparagus, and beets. I don’t think I will run out of pickled snacks any time soon; and they are great on sandwiches or as sides for a meal, and I am really looking forward to trying the pickled asparagus in a Bloody Mary!
Because of the salt and the vinegar, there is no worry about bacteria growth as long as the vegetables are submerged below the brine and kept in the fridge. I use them up so fast that they never last long enough to worry about.
Here is my tried and true recipe for Pickled Cucumbers. As I try the others I will put up the recipes if they turn out well.
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar, apple cider or rice vinegar also work
2 tablespoons sugar, optional
kosher salt, as needed
2 cucumbers, sliced 1/8″ thick
1/2 onion, sliced 1/8″ thick
1 bay leaf
dill weed, to taste
1. Place sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toss and let them rest for a few minutes to draw out the water.
2. I take a Pyrex measuring cup and add 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and the sugar. Place in the microwave and heat for a minute. The object is to get the sugar to dissolve.
3. I place the cucumbers, onions and the bay leaf in a Tupperware or glass container and pour the brine over all.
4. Sprinkle on the dill weed. You need a surprising amount to give it good flavor, but you should taste and adjust the ingredients to your liking.
5. All the cucumbers should be covered in the brine, if you have lots of cucumber or are making a big batch, make more brine.
6. Let the mixture rest in the fridge until you are ready to eat. The flavors develop over time, so an overnight soak is great.