a pickle for your thoughts

My lovely little sister has spent the last year or so farming her little heart out outside of Lancaster, PA.  She and the fiancee grew all things heirloom and man were they delicious.  This past summer their pickles sold like gangbusters.  I’m a pickle fan to a point, but I didn’t quite understand why a little ole’ pickle was THE item of the Headhouse Market.
Well, I had one.  Then I got it.  They are crisp and salty with just enough zing to make one a perfectly satisfying snack.  And man are they easy!  Active time I’d say is…a whopping 20 minutes.  Like she says below, it takes a few hours for them to cool down so just stick ’em on a windowsill.

The sister has a huge jar she uses just for pickles, but those of us with “urban kitchens” don’t quite have the fridge space for that.  I used 3 quart-sized Ball jars ($1.49 at Logan Hardware, btw) and this amount of liquid was exactly perfect to cover all the pickles. I think they only fit like 2 lbs. of pickles though….someone riddle me the science behind that one.


farmer-sized pickle jar

Like she says below, you can very easily adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. I used 2 cloves in each of my jars, and I believe about 1.5 cloves of sliced garlic.  Manfriend has suggested we do variations on theme next time since our little jars lend themselves nicely to adaptation.

We unearthed our pickles last night after 1 week, and while I was able to snap a picture of the unveiling, the pickle itself was consumed before another shot could be taken. That should be a pretty good indication of the result 😉 (Also, it should be noted we do not, in fact, live in complete darkness.  I’m still working out that “lighting” thing)

yes that is an American Flag salt shaker in the background. There's a Canadian flag on the other side--what about it?

yes that is an American Flag salt shaker in the background. There's a Canadian flag on the other side--what about it?

Yoder Heirloom Pickles

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canning or kosher salt
  • 4-5 lbs. medium cucumbers
  • 1/4 lb fresh dill
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp sliced garlic (we use more than that)

So you layer all of the ingredients in a big jar, and bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a big pot. Then you pour the solution into the jar and let it sit for 3-4 hours or until its cooled down enough to be about room temperature. Then you refrigerate the whole thing for about a week or longer, depending how strong you want your pickles. You can always taste them and let them sit longer if they aren’t strong enough yet.

And you can definitely halve the recipe or make it however you want to, this is just a basis for scrumptious pickles. If you are doing a big batch you might want to double the liquid part of the recipe to make sure you have enough to cover the raw ingredients. It’s pretty simple! Soon you too will have a refrigerator full of jars of pickles and people will think you’re crazy!


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