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New Pickles Recipe
New pickles - also called half-sours or quarter-sours - are the kind you find in a good Jewish deli, and they taste great. But it's rare to find good ones at the supermarket, and when you do they're usually expensive. Fortunately, new pickles are very easy to make yourself!
You'll need a number of 1-quart glass pickling jars. These are also called Mason jars, or canning jars (an oxymoron). I bought a dozen 1-quart glass jars with lids that seal well at Walmart for $12.
You also need pickling cucumbers. The cucumbers used for pickles are called Kirby cucumbers, and they're available at most supermarkets. Avoid any that are soft or very large. Firm Kirby cukes are fresher, and smaller ones fit more easily into the pickling jars.
All the pickling recipes I've seen specify Kosher salt. I've tried both regular salt and Kosher salt, and I can't tell any difference. Use whichever type you prefer.
For each 1-quart pickling jar you will need:
- 3 to 8 Kirby cucumbers, depending on their size
- 2 or 3 fresh garlic cloves, depending on their size
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Pickling Spices, available in the Spices section at supermarkets
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Dill Weed, also in the Spices section, or an equivalent amount of fresh dill if you prefer
- 2 teaspoons salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
I've made many batches of new pickles so far, and found the following method the simplest. It also minimizes the mess to clean up.
- Wash the cucumbers, slice them lengthwise into halves or quarters, then stuff them into the glass jars.
- Chop the garlic into fine chunks, and drop them into each jar on top of the cucumbers.
- Add the correct amounts of pickling spices, dill weed, salt, and peppercorns into each jar on top of the cucumbers.
- Fill each jar to the very top with water, and seal tightly. Do not leave even a little air at the top, because any parts of the pickles that are above water will get soft.
- Shake each jar well until you're sure all the salt and other spices are dissolved, then put the jars in the refrigerator and leave them there for five days. You might shake the jars after one day to be sure the spices are fully dissolved and spread around evenly.
That's all there is to it. Enjoy!
Ethan Winer has been an audio pro and skeptic for most of his adult life. He now heads up RealTraps, where he designs acoustic treatment products for recording studios and home listening rooms.
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