Vinegar pickled cucumbers

13 March 2018
I must confess that I am a bit of a pickle fiend. Growing up we always had a jar of sweet spiced gherkins in the fridge. These were usually destined to be thrown on a classic 80s platter along with pickled cocktail onions (all three colours of course), cubes of cheese and chunks of cabanossi (or cabana depending where you live). Ah the 80s.....

10 green cucumbers sitting on a wall....

I started pickling my own cucumbers a few years ago and haven't looked back. I like that I can adjust the taste and spices to my preference. I also like that I can source local cucumbers (sometimes even from my own backyard) and produce a little less waste.

There will always be a jar of vinegar pickled cucumbers floating about in my fridge. I enjoy them straight out of the jar or served up on a tasting platter, especially alongside rilletes. They also go great with hamburgers and sandwiches - on top or on the side. A few finely chopped pickles will definitely add a little tang to any number of things - potato salad, mayonnaise based sauces and a variety of fish dishes. Once you're done with the pickles you can then use the leftover pickling liquid in dressings and sauces, waste not want not.

Each summer I try to put away enough for a full year's worth however I haven't managed to get them to last that long yet. It seems both my daughters have inherited my pickle munching ways. I think we made it until September last year before needing to top up from the supermarket. Room for improvement this year.

Cucumbers sliced up and lightly salted - step one.


I also experimented with fermenting cucumbers last year and am keen to add more of these to the stash this season (read about it here if you're interested). However, because they live in the fridge (i'm not quite game to keep my ferments out permanently) i'll only be able to make a few jars, so the bulk of the pickle action has to be vinegar pickled.

My go to recipe is a woman's weekly number that you can find here. It's simply a matter of salting the cut cucumbers overnight and then combining with a pickling liquid. I do differ from the recipe a little. I used to simply hot pack the cucumbers and hot brine in hot sterilised jars thereby forming a seal. But one year I had a few jars that didn't seal correctly and started to ferment a little in the jar. It was a sad day when I had to empty these into the compost. So now I process them using a water bath. I have a fowlers vacola unit and so I use that, but you can simply use a pot on the stove top (for more info on water bath canning you can find great stuff online, I often refer to the Ball canning site Fresh Preserving but there is a heap of information out there).

If that sounds a little too much at this stage of your preserving journey then follow the linked recipe and just store them in the fridge. Easy peasy.

Squished into jars and awaiting some pickling liquid.



Are you of the pickle loving persuasion?
Have you ever tried or wanted to try pickling your own?






2 comments

  1. Hi Laura, we seem to wait all year for summer when we pick our own delicious cucumbers, and oh gosh they just produce crazy amounts don't they.? It's a personal challenge to keep up with them so pickles it is. We've only ever done them with dill but I love your suggestions of other flavours so I'll do a sneaky jar or two of experimental flavours next summer. I'm new to your blog and loving what I see so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put three vines in just before Christmas and I can't believe how many they are producing. Normally I'd plant a lot more but we moved interstate into a rental and so I only had so much space. There's something about wanting that insurance of a few extra vines though isn't there!
      It's funny, I hardly do dill as I always find my dill has long gone to seed by the time the cucumbers are ready. Fennel seeds make a nice substitute though. I look forward to hearing about your flavour experiments next summer.
      I'm new to blogging so thanks for your kind words!

      Delete

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