If over-productive cucumber vines have you in a pickle, here is a fun and easy way to “dill” with it! There is no need for expensive canning equipment, just a few simple ingredients and a jar will work well.
Pickling can be done via fermentation or simple marinating (curing). Unfermented pickles take much less time to make, and there is no canning required. Pickling vegetables is a great way to get children involved in the kitchen. Children can help put the vegetables in a large jar after they have been cut; they can also add spices, and tear up herbs.
Pickling is a great opportunity for kids to experiment with seasonings and see how different herbs and spices change the taste of vegetables. Older children can help cut the vegetables.
If your family enjoys savory pickles, basil, dill, mustard seed, peppercorns, and garlic can be added into the mix. For the people with a sweet tooth, apple slices, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves give the pickles a softer, sweeter taste.
Kids love the crunch of a fresh pickle. Get them involved in seeing how pickles are made with this easy recipe:
- 4 quart-sized containers with lids
- 20 pickling cucumbers (you can experiment with other vegetables like carrots, onions, peppers, or green beans)
- Bulb of garlic
- Fresh dill
- Seasoning (they can be sweet or savory depending on the herbs and spices used)
- Brine solution
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar (raw, organic)
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- Make the brine solution: Mix all of the ingredients together and boil until all salt is dissolved.
- Wash your cucumbers, slice into quarters lengthwise.
- In each quart container, place enough dill heads to cover the bottom of the jar, 4-6 cloves of garlic, a pinch of seasoning and herbs and sliced cucumbers, tightly packed.
- Pour the brine solution over the cucumbers and spices in each of the jars. Be sure that the cucumbers are covered with the liquid.
- Cover the containers, but don’t seal the lids because as the pickles are curing pressure is created in the jars. Put them away in a dark space for 2-3 days, then tighten the lids on the jars and transfer to the refrigerator.
- Enjoy your crunchy treat!