Dill pickles are my favourite. Of all the flavours I miss from the States, they’re at the top of my list. The first time I tried a dill pickle in the U.K. I was surprised by how sweet it was. I’ve tried many others since, but none live up to the crunchy, garlicky, vingeary goodness of my youth.
For a while when I was a kid, I went through a phase of only eating matzo ball soup or reuben sandwiches. Luckily for me, my parents had a house account at Greenblatt’s Deli. I ordered food from there all the time. I ordered it so much that when went I went to college my dad called them to place a delivery one day and when the driver arrived at the house he was surprised to find someone other than me at the door. “Where’s the little girl?” Yves wanted to know. Each time I’d come home for the holidays, I would go to Greenblatt’s to get my fill of pastrami and pickles.
Here is my refrigerator pickle recipe. I’m too greedy and impatient to let anything ferment properly. I simply cannot wait that long. Like the dill pickles I love , these have a sharpness that are sure to “make your toikey poikey” as the Vlasic pelican would say.
p.s. I have Russian friends who swear drinking pickle juice is the best hangover cure.
1 pint jar with a lid, washed and sterilized
3-4 Persian or Kirby cucumbers
2 smashed garlic cloves
1 tsp mustard yellow seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp dill seeds
a few stems of fresh dill (these aren’t necessary as the dill flavour comes from the seeds, but I like the way the fresh dill looks–like seaweed swaying in a briny current)
1/2 c cider vinegar (for a bit of sweetness)
1/2 c white wine vinegar (for sharpness)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp salt
optional: 1 tsp of sugar if you really want
Place the garlic, mustard seeds, dill seeds, and dill weed in the bottom of your jar.
Next, wash and dry the cucumbers then cut off their blossom ends. If you don’t, your pickles might go soggy. Quarter the cucumbers and put them in the jar, packing them as tight as you can. If you have to trim them so their tops don’t stick out, do so.
In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegars, salt, and sugar if you’re using it, to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, take the brine off the heat. Pour it over the cucumbers leaving a 1/2″ of head room. Seal the jar and let it come to room temperature then place it in the refrigerator. Try to wait at least 2 days before cracking it open. I never can, but the flavour does intensify the longer you can leave it on a refrigerator shelf.
Small side note: I usually can’t fit 4 cucumbers in a jar, but I always need more than 3. What I like to do is top up my cucumber spears each time I take one out.