Thursday, April 18, 2013

I do what I want, I do what I want!

As far as I can tell, pickles are a "do whatever the heck you want" kind of food. The basic concept is "Put some stuff into some jars. Then put some stuff into some vinegar. Let the two stuffs do some stuffs together for a while. Stuff them in your stuff-stuffer."

I'm a big fan of foods that don't make me think about them when I make them, which means pickles? Totally down my alley.

Donning my total air of don't give a fuck, I decided to literally just grab the first couple of things I could in the pantry and turn them (and the cucumbers that I admittedly purchased specifically for this purpose) into noms.

Here's what you're gonna need to pickle like a champ:

Some produce (I got 5 pickling cucumbers specifically for this.)
Some vinegar (dealer's choice! I used white because it's cheap and plentiful! And I probably used about 3 cups of it.)
Some vinegar-flavoring stuff! (I used mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, sugar, and chili pepper flakes)
Optional-things it doesn't make sense to boil! (I used dill and garlic.)
Some jars!

Now at this point you may have noticed that this recipe is less like a recipe and more like a note that your crazy aunt may have scrawled on a filthy index card that's been floating around the house for roughly a decade. Well... Welcome to the family, schnookums! These pickles are about doing whatever the crap you want, so grab your lab coat and experiment! Hate sweet pickles? Don't use sugar! Like 'em more than just a touch spicy? Put a chopped up jalapeƱo in there! Allergic to cucumbers? Do carrots instead! (True story-the Hunky Dreamy is allergic to cucumbers but really digs pickled carrots.)

I believe in you. You can do this.

So once you get your flavors all sorted out, put the 'stuff it doesn't make any sense to boil' like fresh herbs and the produce into your jars. For the love of bob, use something made of glass because... we're about to put some boiling hot vinegar in those suckers. 


If you're fancy, you can use a mandolin to make your vegetables all pretty and uniform. If you're ghetto and don't give a butt, do what I do and hack away at them with a lack of regard so well refined that you may even end up having the most ridiculously uneven cut cucumber slices in the universe and totally not be bothered by it. Put those babies in the jars next.

Get yourself a pot that makes sense for the amount of liquid you think it would take to fill the gaps between the stuff you put in the jars just now.

....Pour about as much vinegar as you think you're going to need to fill those gaps into said pot. Then halfway through realize you've judged poorly and add some more like it ain't no thang. You might even decide to add some water because vinegar is super strong and you might be afraid it will melt your tongue off if you look at it the wrong way-don't worry champ, I won't hold you back. Go for it. 

Put whatever flavorful junks you want into that vinegar in whatever proportions you want and boil it all for a minute or two. Then pour it into your jars over all the other stuff. Let it cool on the counter before you put the lids on so it doesn't create condensation and up the risk of going bad. Put the room-temperature jars into the fridge for about a week to let them really get their magic going.


And you know what's great about this recipe? You invented it while you were going. AND THERE'S A SECOND PART COMING NEXT WEEK. Just in time for your pickles to be done pickling, methinks.

See you then, you little rapscallions you.
<3 Kat.

P.s. if you decide to use some turmeric, I recommend using close to none-it's super strong and will stain everything you have ever owned simultaneously. 

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