1/13/10

easy pickles



I had never heard about the Christmas Pickle until I was working at Cost Plus World Market. Every year we would stock pickle ornaments and every year those pickles would sell out.

So the story of the pickle is pretty simple...

The Christmas pickle is not really a pickle at all. It is a pickle-shaped ornament that is the last one hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. Because the ornament is green, it is supposedly hard to spot. I say supposedly because with four teenagers nothing is hard to spot, they have x-ray vision of eagles that have always and I mean always have eaten their carrots. You can't get nothing by teenagers. Anyways... the first child to find the Christmas pickle gets an extra gift from Saint Nicholas.

I'll be the first to admit this isn't a tradition in our house. I only bring it up because we made refrigerator pickles in November. These pickles take about a month of sitting in the brine in the fridge before they are ready to eat and when I did the math to know when we could eat these pickles lo and behold... you guessed it, Christmas Day. I made Christmas Pickles. Kismet.




dill pickles: recipe courtesy of my Aunt Cathy

this made 4 - 1 quart jars

bring to a boil a brine of:

3/4 cup pickling salt
4 cups vinegar
7 cups water

in sterilized jars put:

garlic cloves [katie and i used 3 peeled and smashed cloves per jar]
fresh dill, to taste
cucumbers

Put sterilized lids on jars and store in the refrigerator.

Here's the tough part... they won't be ready for about a month. Four very long weeks.

Spoiler Alert: (literally)

The jars should seal even without doing the whole canning deal. Sometimes placing the jars upside down helps that process along. My Aunt Cathy and I (so far) have never had a problem with this recipe but I would strongly caution use your best judgement or at least common sense. Don't eat the pickles if the jar hasn't sealed. Don't eat if they smell bad. Don't make them if you're not willing to sterilize the jars and lids. Eat them quickly once you do open the jar.

Tasting Notes: When we went up to Oregon in October, Katie spied these pickles in my Aunt Cathy's fridge. Katie loves pickles and of course asked her if she could have a few. My Aunt Cathy said, 'Of Course.' After one bite Katie was swooning over pickles, she then raided my Aunt Cathy's recipe binders for any and all recipes that caught her eye.

If you do make these save the brine because in a week I will have a recipe for Pickled Brined Chicken.

12 comments:

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I'm on my last jar of refrigerator pickles from about, uh, August? I think? I still have some I actually canned with the whole water bath thing, but they're never as good as the refrigerator kind.

Julia said...

I made dill pickles this summer, but didn't use the pickling lime -- which keeps them crispy. They taste good, but the sogginess kinda bummed me out.

Louise said...

You've made it sound simple enough for this canning fraidy cat to try. Is pickling salt available at regular grocery stores, or does it need to be ordered online?

maybelle's mom said...

I CANT WAIT FOR PICKLE BRINED CHICKEN.

krysta said...

louise... you can get it at the grocery store... in a big ol' box.

Melissa said...

Pickled brined chicken? I be curious.

I love pickles. I loved the ones Rebecca sent me... you know, since I'm too lazy to bother with my own. They were spicy and garlicky. I should just do it...

noble pig said...

Oh I have been wanting a tried and true pickle recipe.

LillSis said...

I used to make pickles many years ago when we lived in Texas. We had a yard big enough for a huge garden and we grew some amazing cucumbers! I haven't done it for years now.

You just reminded me that we forgot to put up our pickle ornament. It was a different Christmas at our house this year though. We didn't put up our usual large real tree since we were gone for a week. We just put up a small fake one, so I guess the pickle would have been too easy to spot anyway!

Great recipe!

TKW said...

I could live on pickles! These look great! I look forward to the pickle-brined chicken recipe. How interesting!

Melissa said...

How festive and an original take on the Christmas pickle! I can't wait to see the Chicken recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Kim said...

Huh. I've never heard this, but I did wonder- why a pickle ornament. I saw these at World Market and wanted one. Next year, I'll have to grab one.