Cooking, Lifestyle

Grandma’s best pickles!

Pickles…. When I think of pickles, two people come to my mind instantly. The first is my grandma from my dad’s side who made the best sour pickles in the world! At the end of each Summer she would transform her small kitchen into a pickle production zone, filling tons of jars with small cucumbers making sure it will  be enough for the entire family until next year. The taste and the crunchy texture was so good that even years after her passing I can still remember it and my mouth is watering. The second person is my dad. Wonderful cook who could prepare any dish without following recipes. His roasted turkey or bigos ( traditional Polish dish made by stewing sauerkraut ) was desired by all friends and family members… but out of all the wonderful dishes he could prepare the simplest was Polish kielbasa, with fresh bread and a crunchy pickle was his favourite combination! Mike always brings the memory of my dad every time we open a new jar of pickles :) The love for those yummy sour cucumbers is passed on to my kids and now they make their own. We played with the proportions and finally we developed a recipe that makes pickles almost as good as my grandma’s! The biggest secret that I learnt from her is to get the best quality and the freshest cucumbers you can. And here is how we make them:

You will need:

All ingredients are per 2L jar :

2 L mason jar

 about 2 kg small best quality pickling cucumbers ( fresh and hard are best )

 about 1 L water

1 heaping Tbsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper corns

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 medium horseradish root

1 small garlic head

3-4 cherry leaves

1 stem of fresh dill with seeds

3 fresh or dry bay leaves

This is how you do it:

Bring water to boil and dissolve salt. Wash cucumbers, cherry leaves and dill very well. Peel horseradish and cut in chunky pieces.  Place some of the leaves, spices and horseradish on the bottom of the jar. Add cucumbers tightly placing as many as you can. Add the remaining spices. Cover everything with the water/salt solution. Cover tightly with the lid.

we also like to make one jar, following the same recipe but leave it open and after 2-3 days enjoy the newly pickled cucumbers! Delicious for sandwiches, salads, with dinner  or just as a snack on its own!

make sure to arrange the cucumbers as tight as possible in the jar

I like to layer the dill, leaves, horseradish, garlic  and spices but it is not necessary

the larger cucumbers you can cut into wedges  or slice them and….

… add one or two hot chilli peppers!

and now the hardest part… waiting!

If you have any question about the process please feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy.