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January 2007

Pickled Cucumbers Recipe

Making your own pickled cucumbers is a great way to save money and avoid all the unnatural preservatives that are often found in the commercially produced pickles.

The pickling process is quite easy and requires only a minimal investment of your time and money. With just a little bit of planning you can have perfectly healthy and tasty pickles, to last you through the entire winter. Here is the time-tested recipe, that I have from my mother:

Ingredients for 10 jars of pickled cucumbers: 4 kg. (8 lb.) of small pickling cucumbers, 3 small onions cut into wedges, 500 ml. apple cider vinegar (or other natural vinegar of your choice), 10 flat tablespoons of salt, 10 teaspoons sugar, 50 peppercorns, 10 dill florettes, cold water as needed.

Jars prepared for pickles

Jars prepared for pickles

Recipe: Wash the pickling jars and the lids, and share all the pickling ingredients between them. Arrange the cucumbers last and top the jars with clean cold water. Put the lids on the jars tightly and arrange the jars in a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water to 1-inch over the top of the lids. Bring the water to a boil, and as soon as it starts boiling, remove the saucepan from heat. This process will sterilize the pickled cucumbers in the jars. Wait for 5 minutes and remove carefully some of the hot water from the saucepan, enough to reveal the jars. Grab the jars with a kitchen towel and remove them from the saucepan. Let them cool down and arrange them in your cellar. The jars of pickled cucumbers should stay for at least 2-3 weeks before they are at their best and ready for eating. Tip: You can keep and reuse jars with turn-lids, from all kinds of food that you buy from the stores. Just make sure that the lids are not damaged, otherwise they won't seal properly and keep the vacuum.

Pickled cucumbers

Pickled cucumbers

Additional ideas: You can make the pickled cucumbers using some other optional ingredients such as garlic cloves, bay leaf, cloves or small pieces of carrot. I also, recommend using sea salt, because it is actually healthy, as opposed to regular table salt. Read my article about the different kinds of salt here.

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Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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