I really want to make some mouth-puckering sour dill pickles. This weekend, I decided on bread and butters, instead. Why? All of the sour pickle recipes I’ve found require Kirby/pickling cucumbers. I haven’t seen anything like this at our regular grocery store, our fancy grocery store, or our farmer’s market. There were some cucumbers that were slightly smaller than those at another booth, but I just didn’t think they qualified. I think the trick may simply be growing them yourself (any pickle-making friends out there – please help me out if you have a tip on sourcing these).
Bread and butter recipes that I’ve studied seem to be more flexible on this count. So, I gathered the collection of spices and vinegars for this recipe. I prepped the cukes and onions (this was the longest part – because you have to wait 4 hours before you drain and rinse the veggies). And I made pickles.
At the end these didn’t look so great. They looked floppy as I stuffed them into the jars, and while the mixture smelled good, I was already feeling like I’d failed another pickle. Or the pickle failed me. Either way, those Vlasic jars were starting to call my name.
A few slices of vinegar-soaked, mustard seed and red pepper flake-coated cucumbers remained after the canning was complete. Jason stepped in and swiped one out of the pot – still warm – to taste. I heard the little crunch and his exclamations over how good they were made me curious. They WERE good! Really good. The skin was a little tougher than ideal, but the flavor was just perfect.
The next pickles will be from Kirby or pickling cucumbers, but the recipe was a smash hit.