Homemade Pickles!

This might be the largest cucumber I have ever seen. I was working on the squarefoot garden this morning (next to the deck) and noticed this sucker growing underneath the deck. Unfortunately, I have not been taking great care of the garden as the one on the deck since the whiteflies invaded. Side note: the insecticidal soap does seem to have helped – time will tell. So, I was fixing the cucumber vine when I saw a huge cucumber fully grown (too grown, really) underneath the deck. Since I already made cucumber salad (http://stephmixson.blogspot.com/2014/07/two-five-minute-appetizers.html), I Googled cucumber recipes and homemade pickles came up. I love cucumbers, and I also love pickles. With this huge cucumber I figured that pickles would be a good way to use the vegetable. For the recipe see the end of this blog.

As usual, here is the obligatory ingredient photograph. The recipe calls for 6 cups of sliced cucumber. Believe it or not, this huge cucumber is about 6 cups worth of slices. I ended up slicing and then halving the whole thing. The end that is on the whiter side I left out because it isn’t ripe, or rather is overripe. The recipe also calls for green pepper, which is from the garden – we picked up a plant the other day. There is also distilled white vinegar, white sugar, and salt. Pretty simple!

To prepare the pickles, I followed the recipe as written. I didn’t want to make up anything this time around since I am not sure how specific the ratios are for pickles. With the amount of sugar, I am sure these will be sweet after they marinate over night!

First, boil 1 cup white vinegar, 2 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt for about 10 minutes. The point is to fully dissolve the sugar before adding to the vegetables. While this was boiling, I sliced the cucumber, green bell pepper (1 cup), and onion (1 cup) and placed in a mixing bowl. After the sugar mixture dissolved, I added it to the vegetables and mixed with a spoon. Then, poured everything into a Tupperware container for storage. The recipe calls for a sterile container (if I was pickling for the long term I would have done this), but I figured that a plastic container would work for the time being. I did taste a cucumber slice, but it had not been marinating that long. After about an hour or so I tried another piece and it did taste like a pickle! I bet that after sitting overnight in the vinegar/sugar mixture the pickles will be ready. Delicious!

If you are looking for another way to prepare your cucumbers, check out Allrecipes.com. There are tons of recipes out there for cucumber salads and Greek dressings as well as additional recipes for pickles.

Online Recipe:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Homemade-Refrigerator-Pickles/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

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