I really did some homework because the risks of botulism are pretty scary and I really don't want to die over a cucumber. Pineapple yes, cucumber no. The more I looked into the risks The more reassured I became and decided to do it. Apparently the risks are higher when you intend to leave the finished product out in your cupboards and is safer to do because it will be stored in the refrigerator. Though they should be eaten within a couple weeks.
So I found a recipe and decided to wing some of it except for the proper proportions of water to vinegar. I added my own seasonings but didn't have the recommended kosher or pickling salt and used iodized salt. Keep in mind it will make the liquid look cloudy but since it was my first time I really didn't care too much.
You can see the fresh garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf and I also added crushed red pepper flake, cumin and smoked paprika along with some dried thyme.
Please excuse the mess, I didn't bother cleaning up after myself because of the excitement I had for making these bad boys.
I used a glass measuring cup to pour the hot liquid in. Glass ones are best because they don't crack like the cheap plastic ones do.
I spooned the rest of the yummy goodnes on top that didn't pour in with the liquid. You ca buy these jars on the internet or in the grocery store. I think they usually are in the spice aisles or the baking aisle. We got these jatrs from the wine bar inside Whole Foods. They featured a new sangria and they presented them in these awesome mason jars.
After I put the lid on top I tipped it over to distribute the spices.
I got the random idea of chopping up a little fresh dill and reopened it and re-shook it. I have really gotten into dill lately thanks to a new Italian restaurant that has opened up in the neighborhood. They had a risotto with speck and dill and I fell in love with it. The menu changes with what is fresh and maybe with what they feel like making so I gt to see a new risotto there every time I go but that one in particular is my all time favorite.
The process really only took maybe half an hour and was so easy a child could do it, as long as said child knew proper safety around an open flame though. The taste was amazingly fresh and a nice change to the usual store bought items you can find. and honestly it's a good way to get some veggie variety in your diet with the lowest amount of calories. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing something yourself.
I got the basics from this recipe right here and you can check it out yourself. I honestly didn't ave most of those spices so I used herbs I know I love and winged it. but don't wing the wet part of the brine unless you're going to use regular white vinegar as opposed to cider vinegar. Use the same proportions just dont think "oh hey, Ill put hardly any vinegar in here." and think you'll be safe. Just don't. and Just enjoy yourself.
Also, related but unrelated, I was looking up recipe books for pickling but somehow came across this book called Roots which features a variety of different roots and recipes for them . I'm really debating on whether or not to get it. I do love experimenting and finding new ingredients so maybe this will be a new catapult into a new venture and will help me put a new thing under my culinary belt.
I think it's time to head to the farmer's market!