Making your first pickle is a wonderful moment in any foodie’s life. It was shockingly recent that I learned pickling is a process not a food. The first time someone told me that you “can pickle carrots” my mind did somersaults as I tried to figure out what that meant. It’s like saying you “can cereal carrots”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!
Because I am still so enamored with the whole “cucumbers become the pickles” thing, I try to introduce everyone I meet to home-made pickles. “Hey! Check this out, I made this from a CUCUMBER! Crazy huh?!” Some audiences (my classes) take it better than others (strangers on the street).
Pickles are an amazing thing that anyone with access to a heat source can create. There are dozens upon dozens of pickle recipes out there, but I am partial to the Bread and Butter Fridge Pickle recipe found in the book Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton.
I don’t know if I can put the exact recipe here because it’s probably copyrighted, so I’ll lay out the steps that we took to create our pickles, and you can follow along using your favorite recipe.
Step 1: Prepare your space and gather your measuring spoons and cups, pot, stove, stirring spoon, knives, cutting boards, ingredients, and containers.
Step 2: Carefully measure out your brine ingredients and bring to a boil.
Step 3: After doing a knife safety discussion and demonstration, cut up your onions and cucumbers (make sure to bring enough to snack on!)
Step 4: Fill containers with a few onions and cucumbers. Pour the brine over top.
Step 5: Put your container in a zip lock bag to prevent leaking in your backpack. Take your pickles home, and let them sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Photos by Mike Lynch, WCG Community Education Director.