Monday, June 27, 2011
Have Summer Bounty? Make Pickles.
Another thing I picked up at the Dallas farmer's market was a pound of Kirby cucumbers. I fully intended to pickle them using a boiling water method so that they'd keep for months, but life happened as it sometimes does, and I never had the free afternoon to do so. All the while, they were getting older by the day and my crisper couldn't work miracles much longer. It was either do something with them - quick - on they'd quickly become scraps for the chickens. Every time I thought of them becoming food for chickens, I remembered the excitement I felt when I bought them thinking, "I'm going to make pickles!" and I imagined how I'd feel cutting them up and tossing them out.
Enter Almost Hands-Free Dill Pickles from the August 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine, to save me from being a disappointment to myself. Two things caught my attention: "real simple" and "hands-free." Real Simple estimates "hands-on time" to be 5 minutes and then 24 hours of refrigeration later, you have pickles that last up to 1 week. Reviewers rated the recipe 4 out of 5 stars, and I agree. I like a heartier pickle spear so the one change I would make is to half the cucumbers instead of quarter them. Still a flavorful, crunchy and quick pickle. If only they would keep for longer than a week, but considering that they were eaten before then, it's not too much of a concession.
Sometimes things don't go as you planned, and most of the time, it's still ok.
*I was able to find all of the ingredients at my local supermarket; however, one reviewer stated that she substituted dill week for the dill seed without affecting the flavor. Although she couldn't find it, I had no trouble, although having read her comment, I probably would have tried the dill weed that I already had in my pantry rather than purchase dill seed that I'll probably not use for any other purpose.
*I also substituted a purple onion because they were the ones on sale last week, and again it did not adversely affect the flavor. However, I do think the purple color leeched into the liquid giving it a very faint pinkish tint.