Yesterday’s post revealed pickles that can be eaten in weeks of inception and will peak within months. I make a batch to hold me over to my true love – the long setting dill.
Like all preserving; there is no substitute for fresh. Cucumbers are best for pickling when they have been harvested less than 24 hours. That’s a tall order for most grocery stores – pick your own makes this an almost certain guarantee while the roadside stand may come down to trust.
Clean your ‘cukes like it’s 1999 (that means well). 4-inch is standard length. Be warned of large baskets – picking them in bulk is often cheaper and you get to hand select your pickles.
Secret important tip from a source that would kill me if I shared (and you’ll find it on the Internet): before pickling, cut the blossom end off your cucumbers (this helps the bring penetrate) and surround in a bath of ice water (heavy on the ice, light on the water). Make them as cold as possible before pickling. Think of Siberia. This will help ensure a firm, crispy, pickle.
1. Prep 4 pounds of pickles per above.