Last night, Papa was eating some pulled bbq turkey, when he said he really wanted a pickle. Mama and I, conveniently enough, had been to my friend Walter’s house earlier in the evening, from where we emerged with two very handsome cucumbers. This morning, Mama set about the very easy task of turning them into pickles. She notes that to put them up for the winter would require time she just doesn’t have, so these are perfect for snacking on right now. (Or, at least tomorrow. You have to give them a day. Geez. Be patient.)
Recipes abound online for making pickles, using everything from cauiflower to green beans to zucchini. Mama’s not sure what the precise pickling ratios are, but for our purposes (again, the cucs are going right into the fridge and not on a pantry shelf), she’s okay with that. She started with clean jars and added some mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, a bay leaf, and some fresh sprigs of dill to each. You can throw in some whole cloves of garlic—she remembers trying to fish it out of the jar when she was a kid—some chili pepper flakes, or juniper berries. She thinly sliced the cucumbers and put them in the jars. She cautioned against stuffing them in—you want to give them room to breathe. Then she topped the 2 jars with 4 cups distilled white vinegar with 1/3 cup sugar and 5 teaspoons kosher salt dissolved in it, put the lids on, then stuck them in the fridge. And that’s it! Give them a day to do their thing, but then they’ll keep for a couple months.