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Joining in the Cucumber-y fun: Sun Pickles

It's summer fest!  A big group of bloggers are celebrating a different vegetable each week, and this week is one of my faves- cucumbers!  But really, I don't like cucumbers at all.  I won't eat a cucumber.  But I LOVE pickles.  Love.  Have always loved.  Will always love.  Pickles.  My mom made pickles growing up, but even I, the pickle lover, didn't love those.  They were of the heat processed home canned variety and always turned to mush.  Thankfully she stopped making those and started making only sun pickles.  Since these are not heat processed they stay nice and crisp, but I feel the flavor develops better than regular refrigerator pickles.  Now the majority of the pickles I make are fermented sour pickles- easily my favorite, easy to make, full of probiotics, and my kids LOVE them.  But I always make some sun pickles as well, for the end of the winter and early summer, when the sour pickles have run out or over ripened (okay to eat, but a bit too sour).  Kept in the fridge sun pickles are good for over a year.  Here's my recipe, passed down from my grandma (with some seasoning amendments on my part....).
Sun pickles in a quart jar.

Sun Pickles
Makes one gallon jar of pickles

6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. mustard seed
4-6 cloves of garlic (you can add more if you really like garlic)

optional- dried chili pepper
1/8 tsp. alum
Enough cukes to stuff the jar... wish I could give you more than that:)
fresh dill, about 8-10 heads

Wash your cukes and remove the blossom end.  Bring the water and vinegar to a boil and stir in the salt until disolved.  Put the cukes and all the spices, dill, garlic, and alum into the jar.  Pour the vinegar salt mixture over the cukes until they are all covered.  Lid the jar and shake.  Place the jar in a sunny location for 2-3 days, turning and shaking the jar at least once a day.  If you have a cloudy day, leave the jar outside for an additional day.  Bring inside and refrigerate for 2 weeks before devouring.   

I know it's hard to find gallon jars, so I'll tell you how I adapted this recipe.  When I boiled the vinegar/water/salt mixture I added all the spices and such, except for the dill and garlic.  I then divided the cukes between as many jars as I had (half gallon ball jars, oddly sized rubber gasket jars, quart jars when I ran out of everything else...) and added the dill and garlic, divided equally between the jars.  I then poured the brine over each jar.  If I ran out of brine, I made more until I was done and had brined all the pickles.

Happy pickling- now that the heat seems to have abated a little I'm off to catch up in the garden and get some more pickles (and kimchi and curtido) made.

Lots going on in the blog world right now:  Check out the other posts at Simple Life Thursday

And for lots (LOTS more cucumber ideas, check out one of the posts from Summer Fest: Cucumbers and GNOWFGLINS Seasonal produce roundup.


Brianna said...

Is this recipe different than the one you gave me? I thought you decided that you didn't boil it? Either way its too late now, my pickles are currently sun-bathing, sans boil.

Brandislee said...

Yes, it's the same recipe I gave you. I swear when I was reading it to you I didn't see the boiling part, but I really don't see how it can matter. Maybe an extra day in the sun if you don't boil?

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