Almost a year ago, my friend Chris gave me a jar of the best dill pickles I’ve ever eaten. So when he organized a pickle party this week for a bunch of us to make some for ourselves, I was all over it.
These are cold-pack pickles, meaning that you have to keep them in the refrigerator rather than being able to store them in a pantry before opening like canned ones. On the other hand, it means they’re faster to make, and they hold both color and texture better than heat-processed pickles. And you don’t have to fill your kitchen with vats of boiling liquids.
Did I mention they’re delicious? They have a smooth dill flavor, but it’s expertly balanced with garlic, some sweetness from the onions and peppers, and just a bit of spice (or a lot, if you prefer). And they’re beautifully crisp. You want to make–and eat–these pickles.
So here’s the scoop: The TNT wrote up a nice explanation and also illustrated instructions for the spicy dills and some bread-and-butter pickles.
Here’s our set-up, midway into making the spicy dills.
If you’re looking at the list of ingredients and feeling overwhelmed, note that Duris Cucumber Farm in Puyallup, where the recipes originate, will sell them all to you, in appropriate quantities for whatever size batch you want to make, so you don’t have to go all over assembling them yourself. On the other hand, the produce at the stand is not organic, so Chris bought just the cukes and seasonings there, and picked up the other vegetables at PCC. Including the price of new quart jars (about $2 each, so you could save quite a bit with reused jars), our cost came out around $5-$6 per jar with the mix of organic and conventional produce. You pick out your own cukes, graded by size, so you can make sure the ones you get suit your preference and aren’t too curved to pack efficiently into jars. It’s a good idea to get a few extras since you may overlook a soft spot or two that won’t make for good pickles.
Almost ready to pack in the cukes for spicy dill pickles
Spicy dills, ready to start curing in the fridge. These need 3-4 weeks (longer is better) to soak up flavors properly, and then are good for about a year.
We also made these bread-and-butter chips, which will be ready in just three days.
Duris Farm expects to have cucumbers through the first week of October (frost permitting), so find time to swing through Puyallup (or gather the ingredients elsewhere) and make yourself some of these delicious pickles.