When it comes to snacking I have two “vices”….FROZEN ANYTHING (yogurt dots anyone??) and CRUNCHY/SALTY! I have always been a salt fiend….even as a little girl I would “fight” over the salt shaker at the kitchen table with my brother Kevin! But, I KNOW it’s not good for you to have too much salt…so I really DO try to curb that particular snack temptation. That leaves the CRUNCHY!
Roasted, unsalted almonds are definitely my first “love” when it comes to crunchy….closely followed by pickles! CRUNCHY pickles! Like Claussen or Vlasic! They HAVE to be crunchy, or they have to go home. :-)
So when I came across this recipe for Homemade Claussen Pickles from Rebecca at Foodie With Family I was instantly hooked! I simply had to try making some for myself.
I had never made pickles before and was worried it would be beyond my capabilities, but it was surprisingly easy! I was actually a little surprised that was all there was to it! The WORST part for me….was WAITING TO EAT THEM! Patience is not one of my strongest suits.
Another concern I had was I couldn’t find any of the special “pickling cucumbers” that many of the pickle recipes call for. All I could get my hands on were the plain old-fashioned kind that you find in your average grocery stores’ produce section. (Since that time someone told me I should check the local farmer’s market! DUH! Why didn’t *I* think of that??? NEXT time!) But I decided to press on and try it anyway. Hey…what did I have to lose…except a few cucumbers and some of my patience. :-)
Homemade Claussen Knock-Off Pickles
35 to 40 small to medium pickling cucumbers (I used 8-10 regular-sized cucumbers)
1 gallon cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
2/3 c. canning or kosher salt (Do NOT use iodized salt!)
4 cloves garlic or more, to taste
4 fresh dill heads or 4 tablespoons dried dill seed (not weed!)
Wash cucumbers but do not scrub them.
Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise or into quarters.
In a separate pitcher or bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, taking care to make sure all of them are fully submerged. If needed, place a plate or mug or other non-reactive heavy item on the cucumbers to weigh them down and keep them under the brine! Cover lightly with a lid just perched on top or secure a piece of cheesecloth over the jar with a rubber band to keep fruit flies away. Leave out of direct sunlight on the counter for two to four days, or until the cucumbers taste like pickles throughout.
Fix your lid onto your jar or container and chill. These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months provided you keep them covered with brine.
After all was said and done…I am happy to report the “regular” cucumbers turned out just fine! The pickles were delicious and CRUNCHY! :-) And thanks to my almost doubling the garlic…they were extra garlicky! Just the way I like them!
If you are a fan of crunchy Claussen-type pickles….give this a try! It’s one of those recipes that’s pretty hard to screw up and makes you feel very accomplished in the kitchen. :-)