34 New Things: Make Pickles

Every year I make a list of new things I want to try.  Some are difficult, some are easy, some are shockingly mundane.  You can read about past adventures here.

 

When I added ‘make pickles’ to my list, I had visions of sexy aprons and boiling blue vintage jars, steam billowing into my face and making my hair adorably wispy.But then I remembered I’m lazy and that I resent recipes that don’t leave room for “creative interpretation.”  So when Alex and I decided to make pickles, we opted for this super easy recipe for microwave pickles.  And old peanut butter jars are totally the same as those beautiful blue jars, right?

The amount of effort this recipe calls for is pretty much limited to slicing a few cucumbers, stirring things a bit, and then microwaving all of it.

We decided that our efforts would be better spent cute-i-fying our plastic jars.

Result? Easy, fast, yummy pickles.  AND SUPER CUTE PACKAGING.

Have you ever made pickles or canned?  Like, the old fashioned way?  I find canning simultaneously awesome and intimidating.  Because e.coli.

15 Comments

Alicia Jay

I can pickles every summer! While it's not that hard, you do get the billowing steam and sweltering kitchen. Last year we made dill pickles but threw in slices of jalapeno peppers. The spicy pickles are to die for! I can't believe I only made two jars- they were gone fast.

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julie

it's fun and not *that* hard…but i've always done it with expert friends and never ventured out on my own. there are a few key tools–like the thingy to get the bottles out of the boiling water, and a few key steps to master–make sure the seal is good! and then supposedly the e.coli risk is low. 😉 but like you i'm a little too lazy to memorize those things myself.

one cool thing is that you can pickle so many things besides cucumbers! which i will still prob'ly only do with my friends in charge…but it's so fun in a group, outside on a patio, sneaking in some hot peppers. . .

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miriamdema

Canning is pretty easy once you get the basics down and know which pots and pans work well on your stove and in your kitchen for the process. Most canners will totally invite you over to learn!

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eileen ragan | leaner by the lake

Pickling is ON MY LIST this summer! My are faves are pickled green beans, cabbage, carrots, and of course, traditional pickles! I helped my grandfather with huge batches of pickles he made using cucumbers from his own garden back when I was little. These days we have neither a garden or large space for batching, but I'm going to try my hand using mason jars.

http://www.leanerbythelake.com

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Anonymous

HEY! Do-over!! I had this on my list last year. Don't use the microwave. You can make much better pickles the old-fashioned way, and just eat them that week. They will actually stay good for a few weeks in the fridge, and you CAN do the whole boiling / sealing thing, which means they will stay good almost *forever*, but that part is intimidating to me, too, so I just make batches for eating or sharing NOW. I don't seal them up in 100 jars and put them in my non-existent basement.

You basically just boil sugar, vinegar, and spices (whatever kind of spices honestly) and then when it's all dissolved, pour over the X veggies to cover, and let them sit! THAT'S IT! It's still easy but you will feel more proud of yourself (and you can still decorate your jars, or use the cute canning jars).

I have made this one with different colored baby carrots and it's honestly SO IMPRESSIVE. People will think you are so clever:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Vegetable-Pickling-Liquid-395572

(whatever spices you don't have, you can omit or swap out; I think the garlic, peppercorn and mustard seed are probably the basic ones to keep)

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Marisa

I'm always thrilled when I hear that people are interested in canning! There's absolutely no danger of e coli. with homemade jams and pickles. Botulism is the only true issue and as long as you stick to high acid foods like jams, marmalades, fruit butters, and vinegar pickles, there's absolutely no risk (botulism can't grow in high acid environments). I write a blog called Food in Jars and wrote a cookbook of the same name and would be happy to help talk you through your first canning project if you're looking for some help. Just say the word! 🙂

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Rachael

Pickling is on my list this summer – but I want to tackle bread & butter pickles. 🙂 I have a great book to use, though I wish my Gran were still around to show me officially. It would have been nice if I had actually paid attention before she passed away. I just enjoyed the smells & flavors!

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Amber Mann

I love your blog! What fun ideas! Did you create the jar labels yourself? Would you consider sharing a PDF? They are so cute!

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Amber Mann

I love your blog! What fun ideas! Did you create the jar labels yourself? Would you consider sharing a PDF? They are so cute!

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