When you have too many cucumbers, the thing to do is make pickles! This is easier than it seems and they keep for months. I always love eating garden pickles in the middle of winter. SUCH a luxury.
There are so many recipes for pickles – families develop their own and revise it over time. Pickle recipes are fun to experiment with. Keep notes and mark which is which so you can duplicate it next year. Then make a big batch to give away as gifts. You could even make your own labels.
Here are the basics:
- Cut cucumbers to the size you want and pack them tightly in a CLEAN jar
- Add spices: onions, garlic, peppers, dill, basil, coriander seed, peppercorns, mustard seeds (combinations are endless – experiment with what you like)
- Add brine: mix separately and keep any extra in the fridge for the next batch – 1 gallon water (filtered or bottled) / 1 cup cider vinegar / 2/3 cup salt (NOT iodized)
- Keep cucumbers submerged with a half onion on top – IMPORTANT to keep the cukes under the brine, or they’ll rot
- Cure at least 3 days with a light lid at room temperature, but not until mushy – test each day until they taste the way you want them to AND they still crunch. During this stage they are fermenting, and may produce a white sludge of excess yeast on the top of the brine – scrape that off or scoop it out. It’s not harmful, but left in your pickle jar, it may change the taste from what you planned.
- Refrigerate – Tighten the lid – these will be good for about six months