In the past five days, I’ve made eight jars of pickles. Excessive? I think not. Pickles are rather awesome.
From left to right, we’ve got three jars of garlic-dill pickles, one jar of jalopeno pickles, two jars of long hot pickled peppers, one jar of pickled beets, and one jar of pickled watermelon rinds.
Pickling is an awesome way to preserve your (slightly decrepit) produce that would otherwise get tossed, or to utilize the now-plentiful local produce before we move into the fall season. It’s also easier than easy, especially if you go the lazy-pickler route.
Now, you COULD simmer your vinegar and seasonings for maximum flavor. You also COULD get real fancy and seal your jars (here’s a tutorial) for room temperature storage. I did neither. The top shelf of my refrigerator is now overtaken by still-full-of-flavor pickles.
The cucumbers and peppers I plopped in a jar, covered with a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water, and added my pickling spices (kosher salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, and coriander). The cucs got a few cloves of garlic and a generous pinch of dried dill as well. See? Maybe?
The beets I submerged in apple cider vinegar and water (again, roughly a 1:1 ratio), salt, and sugar after boiling. Word of caution: ensure that there is enough water in your pot of beets. Otherwise you may set off smoke alarm at 7:30am, and may be left with a blackened pot to clean. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…
As for the watermelon rind, I turned to Paula Deen (recipe). She’s so trustworthy.
You too can pickle. Seriously. It’s easy. You can even save the juice from your store bought pickles and throw your produce right in there. Green beans, asparagus, cucumbers, peppers, carrots….it’s all fair game. Have at it.