Pickle Me This, Pickle Me That

Carrots.  Out.  The.  Wazoo. Between the CSA and my garden, I am Bugs Bunny's best friend.  I love carrots, don't get me wrong, but my ideas are getting exhausted.  So right when my cucumber vines exploded, I dug into the past and resurrected my pickle recipes.

These are ice box pickles, remember, and are meant to be stored in the fridge.  Indefinitely.  But definitely in the fridge, not on your pantry shelves.  If you want to store them on your pantry shelves you have to follow proper canning methodology which I'm not getting into here.  These are meant to go in the fridge.  Nod your heads at me.  Good.

To fill up 4 half-pint jars you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (any kind, white, apple cider)
  • 1 rounded tsp kosher salt
  • 2 rounded tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp peppercorns, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1 1/2 tsp of McCormick's pickling spice

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit 5 minutes.  Wash jars, rings and lids with soapy water.

For cucumbers


Wash, then slice or cut into spears.  Put one smashed garlic clove and one sprig of fresh dill into each jar.  If you have no fresh dill, add 1 tsp to the brine above.  Pack cucumbers into jars, then pour brine over, leaving 1/2 of head space.  Wipe rims of jars, then put on lids and screw on rings.  Let cool, then store in fridge.

For carrots:


Wash, peel, then cut into uniform spears.  Follow same directions above, but replace the dill with thyme (fresh or dried).

Pickled cucumbers will be ready to crunch on pretty much overnight.  Pickled carrots you want to wait a week or so to let them soak up a lot of brine.  My CSA delivers orange, white and purple carrots.  I knew the purple ones would bleed so I kept them in their own jars.

Now.  Are you ready for a treat?  Pickled grapes.  I know, I know, I thought the same thing.  But you have to try them.  It's Molly Wizenburg's recipe, from Orangette, she made them for her wedding.  Make one little batch and try them, trust me.  They are wonderful.

Pickled Grapes with Black Pepper and Cinnamon

  • 1 pound red grapes, preferably seedless
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 (2 1/2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse and dry the grapes, and pull them carefully from their stems. Using a small, sharp knife, trim away the "belly button" at the stem end of the grape, exposing a bit of the flesh inside. Put the grapes into a medium bowl, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then pour the mixture immediately over the grapes. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Pour the grapes and brine into jars with tight-fitting lids (or cover the bowl with plastic wrap), and chill at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold.