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I learned how to pickle and yes, it's a really big dill.

Let me start by apologizing for the awful pun as the title of this blog. Would you believe me if I said I truly couldn't help myself? I have to relish my sense of humor even if no one else will.

Okay. Now, I'm done.

But I learned how to make pickles this week! Like from scratch! C'mon, how cool is that?!?

I've talked about my live-in chef/cooking connoisseur/roommate and friend Mckenna before, but I couldn't write this blog without giving her a shoutout. She has been making homemade pickles for quite some time and encouraged me to give them a try for myself!

Surprisingly, it's not very complicated or expensive.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar

  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 4 or so mini cucumbers (Mckenna likes the Persian cucumbers from Trader Joes!) **feel free to cut them into spears or chips, your choice!**

  • 2-3 smashed cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

  • 5 or so sprigs of fresh dill

  • small palmful mustard seeds

  • 5-8 whole black peppercorns

  • red pepper flakes based on your spice preference

  • a glass jar

  • Optional: a splash of apple cider vinegar to top off the jar

Let's get pickling!

  1. Warm up the vinegar in the microwave for around 30 seconds and stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. (You may need to keep warming and stirring the mixture in 30-second increments until fully dissolved)

  2. Put a few dill sprigs and add the mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes to your jar.

  3. Then pour the vinegar mixture and water into the jar and begin placing in your cucumbers while layering in more dill.

  4. Throw in your garlic and keep adding cucumbers until the jar is full.

  5. If there’s extra room at the top, I like to add some apple cider vinegar and a little more water (depending on how much room is left).

  6. Refrigerate for 24 hours and they’re good to go! They should keep for a few months.

That's it! The salt, sugar, vinegar, and water make a simple brine that can be used for traditional pickles, onions, okra, or any other vegetable of your choice. The result is a highly flavorful, affordable, crunchy, and delicious snack.

Some ideas for your pickled creations:

  • Make your own Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich ... pickles are the key ingredient after all!

  • Chop up your pickles for a yummy relish

  • Add the perfectly spear to your next at-home burger

  • Give a jar of homemade pickles as a gift! It's a unique and thoughtful present for new and old friends alike.

I'm excited to try pickling different veggies this year and I hope it's an expertise you can apply in your life too.

Happy pickling!

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