Thursday, July 11, 2013

Homemade Pickles

I've already told you about the over consumption of cheese-hotdogs and macaroni and cheese by my dad and I during our summers at the lake.  But what I didn't tell you is that between those meals...we ate a significant amount of peanuts, green olives, and pickles.

Anyone in my family will vouch for me.  These are a few of my dad's favorite things.  And guess what.  They've turned into some of my favorite things. 

Or at least the green olives and pickles. 

But this wasn't just a lake thing.  On nights that no one was really up for dinner, mom and I would head to the kitchen to prepare the "Bell" cheese and pickle plate of deliciousness.  It's contents always included green olives, pickles (both sweet and dill), cheese, crackers, baby corn, some sort of fruit, and any other random thing we had on hand.  It's kind of like the Missouri version of an antipasti plate.  And I love it.

While I love all of the above things, the love for pickles is pretty deep.  Both sides of the family did some pretty mean pickling back in the day.  And I have sneakily gotten my hands on several of those recipes.  They're beautifully handwritten and just waiting to be used.

But I haven't gotten to them quite yet. 

I went for these pickles in the Flour, Too cookbook A) Because I love it. B) Because I trust everything Joanne Chang writes. C) Because there is no "canning" involved. D) Because simplicity is wonderful.

I mean come on.  Have you ever wanted to make pickles but didn't really want to go through the whole canning process?  Of course you have.  Especially if they produce pickles like these.

At first they were a little heavy on the fennel/black licorice taste but that died down significantly as they chilled.  I was also a little worried that there were far too many cucumber slices for the amount of brine.  But don't worry about this either!  Just keep pushing them into the brine and all will workout.

They are heavenly.  And simple.  It's summer.  You need these.

Adapted from Flour, Too Cookbook

Makes: 1 1/2 Quarts
Prep Time:
3 hours 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 11 hours 30 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

4 English Cucumbers, cut crosswise into rounds 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons pickling spice
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Put the cucumber rounds in a large container with a lid.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and vinegar.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil until the sugar dissolves.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the salt, pickling spice, mustard seeds, celery seeds, fennel seeds, turmeric, pepper, cloves, and cayenne.  Pour the brine over the cucumbers and set aside to cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
  2. When pickles have cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate them.  The pickles are ready to serve after they have chilled for at least 8 hours.  They may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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