Confession 2 of Cucumber Month: I don’t eat these, either. I know, I’m terrible. But I do trust my tried-and-true taste tester hubs that does happen to like pickles, and he thought very highly of them. I also made him a jar of “special” spicy pickles with a quartered jalapeño in it. Let me just tell you: don’t rub your nose after stirring that brine with your fingers, mmkay? Your nose will go numb.
This was my very first pickle attempt ever, and so I did a looooot of research beforehand. Mostly because the idea of “just leave it on the counter for 7 days” totally freaked me out. It’s fine. Just…Make a lot and if you lose a couple jars, so be it. There is no shortage of cucumbers in this house, so losing two was no biggie.
Second handy tip: you’ll need something “non-reactive” that will fit down inside your jars to hold the cucumbers in the brine. This was unbeknownst to me until it was nearly too late. I rigged some rectangular snack container lids to shove down in there. I’d recommend something better…Keeping them down is crucial so they don’t develop mold on the top. I also bought wide-mouth jars, ones that are cylindrical, like these.
Third handy tip: Have an expert fermenter friend. Mine happens to be Jared Toay, who owns Jared’s ProPops, a probiotic popsicle and soda operation here in town (they’re killer, buy them.). He is a huge proponent of gut health through the use of probiotics and fermented foods. He gave me the following notes on my first batch:
“It could definitely use a bit more spice to it, whether you decide to go for a spicier or more garlic or more dill. Make sure the temperature [of where you are fermenting] is not too hot. I keep mine in a center closet, away from most other things that could possibly give off heat. Lastly, they could be firmer. The way I use to keep them crisper is by adding tannins, which [are things like] grape leaves, horseradish leaves, etc. That goes a long way in keeping them fresh. Of course it could be that you might add a bit more starter (salt) as well.”
Screw your jars loosely and release the air every once in awhile so they don’t explode!
After 6 days or so (when they start looking “pickle-y,” you can go ahead and move them to the refrigerator. I’d toss them probably after a couple weeks.
I hope you’re enJOYing your Cucumber Month! In case you missed the first recipe of cucumber month, you can find it here, or by clicking the photo on the right!
Simple Dill Pickle Spears
- 1.5 qt wide mouth jars & lids
- 4-5 pickling cucumbers cut into spears
- 3 C. filtered water
- 1.5 T. kosher salt
- 4 t. coriander seeds
- 6-8 dill weed stems
- Other flavors garlic cloves, pickling spice, peppers etc.
- Slice cucumbers into spears that leave about one inch of headspace in the jar.
- Add a few stems of dill, 1 t. of coriander seeds, and other flavors to jars.
- Tightly pack cucumbers in the jar.
- Mix salt and water together in a pitcher, and stir until salt is completely dissolved (solution will be clear again)
- Fill each jar until brine covers the cucumbers.
- Place your non-reactive topper in the jar, and loosely seal.
- Store in a cool, dry place for 6-7 days.
- Refrigerate after finished fermenting, for up to two weeks.
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