Summer is always something I look forward to, one of the reasons being I know my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Dick’s crock pickles are in full swing. Ever since I can remember, these pickles have …
Summer is always something I look forward to, one of the reasons being I know my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Dick’s crock pickles are in full swing. Ever since I can remember, these pickles have been a family bbq staple... and a couple summers back I was lucky enough to steal the recipe. They are the best pickles I have ever had, which is an extremely bold statement because I’ve tried thousands. Paired best with a sharp cheddar cheese to cut the acidity, you will not find anything better. Often pickles are made in jars, however these pickles will not can well. Knowing you cannot savor these all year long is part of what makes them so special. You will need a crock that will hold at least five gallons, and that isn’t reactive like aluminum (the vinegar will eat it up over time).
To make the most incredible crock pickles, you will need:
One gallon cider vinegar
One-half gallon water
One cup ground black pepper
One cup canning/pickling salt
Eight ounces pickling spice
Two cups sugar
Two sprigs fresh dill
Four cloves garlic (whole)
Once you have this recipe and taste how incredible these are, you’ll want to go to a farmers’ market and buy a peck of really fresh pickling cukes to start with. You’ll want to find the smallest ones you can and give them a good washing (it might be difficult to find pickling cucumbers this late in the season, and for that I apologize, so just buy the smallest ones you can find.
Mix up the ingredients well in the crock and then throw in the pickles. Keep the crock in the coolest place you have and stir daily. I keep the crock covered with a towel.
It only takes four or five days to pickle the first batch of cukes. After that, keep adding cukes from the garden as you use up what’s in the crock. If you stir daily, the brine will last for multiple uses. If the pickles begin to be bland, throw in some more spices and vinegar. I find that the first batch I make tastes the strongest, so don’t be afraid to water it down just a little bit. The brine will weaken
as the summer goes on as liquid from the cukes dilutes the vinegar. Remember to eat these while they’re fresh! They won’t keep forever so eat what you can and give away the rest, your friends and family will be happy to have them!
CLAIRE STABBERT is an accomplished cook who loves to try new recipes. While she does enjoy eating at restaurants, she also loves to whip up a good meal at home. Claire gets some of her cooking inspiration from her grandfather and grandmother, Fred and Shirley Stabbert as well as Great Grandma Nellie.
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