By Amie Petronis Plumley | Photography by Alison Bickel
Yield: About 2 pints of pickles
1 cucumber (or any vegetable you want to pickle)
1 small yellow onion
1½ cups white vinegar
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher or pickling salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon celery seeds*
½ teaspoon mustard seeds*
*If you don’t have these spices you can leave them out or use something different like dill weed, turmeric or coriander. If you want spicy pickles, add red pepper flakes, but beware: A little goes a long way! Experiment with spices that your family likes.
Clean jars with lids to hold about 2 pints of pickles
Knife (If you are nervous about having your child use a sharp knife, try slicing the cucumber with a regular table knife or use a vegetable crinkle cutter.)
Large measuring cup or bowl with a spout
Wash the cucumber well (you can peel it if you want) and peel the onion. To peel the onion, it sometimes helps to cut a small slit into the top before peeling off the skin.
Chop the cucumber and onion into medium-size chunks or rounds. Pack the vegetables into the jars. They should be snug and fill the jar all the way to the top.
Combine the other ingredients in the large mixing cup. Whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve. This part can take a while. Keep whisking! Sometimes, it’s fun to count while you stir to see how long it takes.
Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Leave a little space at the top of the jars. If you have a lot of spices left in the bottom of your mixing cup, use a spoon to scoop them up and add them to the jars. The spices add flavor!
Put the lids on the jars and close tightly. Shake the jars so that the pickles are all mixed up.
Put the filled jars in the refrigerator and wait as long as you possibly can (or at least an hour) to eat. They will stay tasty in the fridge for a few weeks. If you eat all your veggies in a hurry, just add more to the vinegar mixture and shake it up. If the vinegar gets sour or the cucumbers get mushy, then it’s time to make a new batch of pickles.
Don’t stop there! Other vegetables pickle well with the same vinegar mixture: okra, radishes, green beans, carrots and others. Let your kids guide you and see what new kind of pickles you can create together.
Not ready to try pickling on your own? Sign up for a Pickling and Preserving class presented by Provisions by the Grey Plume. Class will be held on Saturday, August 27, from 9:30am until 12:30pm and again from 2 until 5pm. You will learn to create your own pickles and marmalades to enjoy throughout the seasons or to give as gifts. To register, go to TheGreyPlume.com or call 402.934.7690. Cost is $80.