Do you enjoy pickles? Ever thought of pickling your cucumbers? A couple of years ago, I had an overabundance of lemon cucumbers. (Remember, those yellow tennis ball type cucumbers I talked about a few years ago? ) Simply freezing the cucumbers isn’t an option since they become soggy.
So, I pickled the cukes. The recipe I chose called for sugar so the pickles turned out quite sweet. Everyone loved them. Mind you, they didn’t taste anything like the sour type pickles you might be used to.
For those of us who have a sweet tooth, the cucumbers were a real treat.
Purchased Pickling Cucumber Seeds
Since the lemon cucumbers are round, I decided to purchase other cucumber seeds. Guess what? The new variety of cucumbers are yellow too but shaped more like a fat cucumber. I guess I am destined to grow yellow cucumbers.
Given my overabundance of years pass, I decided to only grow 4 plants. But the garden gods laughed at me. And decided to give me a huge harvest anyway. In a matter of weeks it seemed, I was blessed with soooo many cukes. Heck, the plants are still producing and it is September!
Destined to be the Pickle Queen
Again, I ask. What the heck do you do with all your cucumbers? Cuke cookies? You can only give away so many to your friends. Do you think it would be weird if I offered them to strangers on the subway?
So hubby decided to look for a couple of new pickling recipes. I guess the old sweet pickling recipe was passe. (I guess this is akin to spicing up our marriage?)
Sweet Pickle Recipe
I have more of a sweet tooth than a sour one so I love the sweet pickles. This time I took out all the seed which hubby thought was silly. The problem with the lemon cucumbers as well as other long cucumber is they are both so seedy. And the seeds are quite large in my opinion. Even more seedy when you let them get bigger than they should be.
Who would ever think that Anna would not be watching her garden? I swear they just grew ginormous over night. Darn garden gods. Do you have a problem with cukes getting too big before your very eyes?
Here is the recipe, “Refrigerator Cucumbers In Vinegar Pickles Recipe” from RecipeTips.com. It is pretty easy:
“8 cups of cucumbers
1 thinly sliced sweet onion
1 cup wine vinegar
1.5 cups of sugar. (I used Xylitol which is low glycemic sugar substitute. I thought about using coconut palm sugar too.)
1.5 teaspoon of salt (I used fine sea salt.) (Should I have used kosher salt?)
1 teaspoon of celery seed. (This ingredient makes the whole dish so don’t skimp.)
Peel the cucumbers. Then , thinly cut the cucumbers and onions. (Note, I realized this after the fact. Cut the cucumbers in round shapes not like pickles.) In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, celery seed, and salt. Whisk together and pour over the onions and cucumbers. Refrigerate for 12 hours. This recipe is beyond simple.
After 12 hours, I tasted one. As I said before, the celery seed just added a new dimension to pickles. Even Son #4 who like sour pickles like them Son #4 is like Mikey in the Life cereal commercial. Remember, “give it to Mikey. He hates everything.” Then Mikey starts to vigorously eat the cereal. Son #4 basically hates everything but meat and anything with sugar.
One thing I didn’t like about the recipe is the cucumbers were kind of wimpy. Okay kind of soggy. And it didn’t help that I cut them to resemble oblong pickles.
Personally, I don’t mind this but did a little investigation. The Whatcom County Cooperative Extension of Washington State University suggests that you pickle only cucumbers that are not bigger than 2 inches in diameter. Well, both my yellow cucumbers were larger. WCC noted that some people use grape leaves in their pickling process.
The University of Missouri Extension suggests soaking cucumber in ice water for 4 – 5 hours prior to pickling. In addition, my recipe called for removing the skin. Could this have contributed to my wimpy pickles?
So, I ask, given this recipe, how could I made firm oblong pickles? Is this possible since the taste was so delish.
Sour Pickles, Recipe #2
When you see a “just like Grandma’s recipe,” I bet you think like I do. Wow. This is going to be a winner. (Am I the only one who is that naive?) Well, either I really screwed up or this recipe was just lousy. You be the judge. (Odds are against me. *Sign.*) Here is the recipe, “Kosher Garlic and Dill Pickled Cucumbers (Parve),” on About.com:
- “3-4 pounds (1 1/2-2 kilo) young and small cucumbers (dark green, firm, warty skin)
- 2-4 sprigs of fresh dill
- 6-8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and cut in half
- kosher salt
- white vinegar
Preparation:1. In a large jar, place 2 sprigs of dill and 3-4 cloves of garlic.
2. Wash and snip off ends of cucumbers. Put cucumbers in the jar until it is full.
3. Add water to the jar, one cup at a time. Then add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for every 3 cups of water added.
4. Top with 2 more sprigs of dill and 3-4 more cloves of garlic.
5. Once the jar is filled to the top, seal jar. Gently shake to mix.
6. Set in window or outside where it will get some sun. Allow approximately 4 days for fermenting. If you like more sour pickles, can can let them stay in the jar for an extra day or two.
Here is where I deviated. I didn’t have jars that were big enough to accommodate 3 cups of water. Perhaps, I could have fudged the numbers to make it work. Personally, my cucumbers didn’t fall into the small dark green, warty skin department. We ended up using a large glass bowl with a plastic lid. Then set it out in the sun for a couple of days. After 2 days, we check it and the pickles were way too sour for me. We ended up throwing away the cucumbers.
Join the Conversation:
- What do you do with your overabundant cucumber harvest?
- Do you have a favorite pickle recipe? If so, please list in the comments or link to it. Obviously, I need help.
- What type of pickling cucumbers do you grow?
- Have you made pickles with garden variety cucumbers?
- Do you think I could make recipe #1 work to make oblong pickles?
- Have you ever made “sun” pickles like Recipe #2?
Pickle-less in New Jersey.