One summer I was pet sitting for my neighbor who happened to have a garden full of cucumbers. She told me to pick whatever I wanted since she’d be gone for a week and didn’t want them to go to waste. My kids and I love cucumbers but when you’ve got 8-10 of them, you have to think of something else to do with them besides eat them with salad or ranch dip.
I decided to attempt to make pickles. I’d never done it before but it seemed like an easy thing to do and I already had a ton of cucumbers. I’m really glad I did because the recipe I came up with has proven to be an absolute FAVE around my neighborhood.
The pickles turned out so well that I left my neighbor a few jars in the fridge as a welcome home gift and as a thank you for allowing me to pick the cucumbers out of her garden. I even added habanero peppers to one of the jars for a little kick, which have turned out to be my favorite! Her family devoured them and she’d often hand over bags full of cucumbers in exchange for a few jars of my pickles. I ended up with so many cucumbers I made extra jars for a few other neighbors who love them as equally as I do. My kids like them so much too and whenever they’re in the mood they just ask and I’ll gladly go to the store to buy cucumbers for now until summer gets here. They’re so easy to make.
Here’s what I do for a quick pickling recipe:
Enough cucumbers to fill 4 wide mouth pint jars. About 6-8 pickling cucumbers or 6 English cucumbers, depending on the size.
2 cups of water
2 cups of white vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
4 teaspoons California style garlic salt (divided)
4 teaspoons dried dill (divided, I don’t use fresh dill)
2 habanero peppers sliced, optional
- Prepare the jars. Wash 4 wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry, or dry completely by hand.
- Prepare the cucumbers. Wash and dry the cucumbers. Cut them into desired shapes and sizes. Slice habanero peppers if using, being cautious and using gloves, rubbing your eyes after handling will make your eyes burn like fire. Add to jars for a spicy option, I use almost a whole pepper per jar.
- Add the flavorings. Divide the herbs and spices you are using between the jars. I use 1 tsp of the California garlic salt and 1 tsp of dill per jar.
- Add the cucumbers. Pack them into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the cucumbers. Pack them in tightly without smashing.
- Make the brine. Place the vinegar and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine. If you don’t have enough brine you can always make a little more with 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt and follow brine instructions.
- Remove air bubbles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary.
- Seal the jars. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
- Cool and refrigerate. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open. Sometimes we can’t wait more than 24 hours and we’ll open a jar up early, still delicious!