30 July 2014

The Dill Pickle

Dill, cucumbers, garlic, and hot cherry pepper- waiting for the brine

When I was little, I had a cool ride called the Dill Pickle.  Oh, how I loved the Dill Pickle!  When I first learned to ride her, I decided to ride down the hill on Frank Street.  I still remember flying down that hill, flush with the pride of my new-found awesomeness!  Half way down, I realized I had no idea how to stop.  Hardly one to worry about tiny details, I made a split-second decision to use the Ginter's (our neighbors) unpaved driveway as a run-off.  Have you ever driven through the mountains, and seen those runaway truck ramps?  

It was kind of like that, but on a smaller scale.  Mother of pearl, I will never do that again.  However, I was inspired to learn how to brake and the Dill Pickle forgave me (I think).

In honor of my old friend, here is a recipe for some spicy, groovy dill pickles.

Dill seed from the yard.
Future pickle.

Dill Pickles (makes 2 quarts)

Enough fresh pickling cucumbers (cut into wedges, halved, or whole) to fill 2 quart jars
6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
4 dill whole seed heads, or 2 tablespoons dill seed
1 hot red cherry pepper, cut in half; or 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

2 cups of white wine vinegar
2 cups water
3 tablespoons pickling salt

Soak the cucumbers overnight in ice water to make them crisp.  Clean and sterilize 2 quart jars and lids.  In the bottom of each jar, put 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 1/2 the hot red cherry pepper (or 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper), and dill. 

Put the vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour the boiling brine into the jars, covering the cucumbers.  Leave a 1/2 inch space between the liquid and the rim.  Seal the jars.  If you plan to eat these soon, you do not need to process the pickles.  Wait for them to cool, then refrigerate the jars.  To process, put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Remove from water, and let cool.  Make sure the lid is sealed (the center will pop down).  

The pickles are best if left to sit for at least 2 weeks before eating.

The Dill Pickle, circa 1974 (with an unknown child who hopefully knows how to brake!)

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