When you read about pickles you will find they have been around since time began. There is also evidence that pickling has been done for thousands of years. Evidence shows that pickles date back to 203BC in India. “Pickles” actually refers to pickled cucumbers.
The process of making dill pickle chips, was developed to extend the shelf-life of a product as well as modifying its taste. “Pickle” is believed to have come from the Dutch word “pekel” or the word “pokel” in German – meaning “salt” or “brine”.
Pickling was a good way of preserving food naturally and stopping it from spoiling as this was the time before the invention of freezers or preservatives. Transporting food was much more limited than it is now, and food unavoidably became quite scarce during winter months, when very little grows on its own.
Pickling gives mellow, crisp, vegetables a “spirited personality”. Kirby cucumbers — a small, type unwaxed cucumber is perfect for pickles –seasoned with garlic and dill. Salting the cucumbers will help draw out all the excess water, thus ensuring crisp results.
To pickle cucumbers, you need the following:
- 2 lbs Kirby cucumbers
- 3 tablespoons of coarse salt
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dill seed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bundles of fresh dill, chopped coarsely
- Cut each cucumber into ½ inch rounds, transferring to thecolander and set in bowl. Toss with salt. Place the cucumber rounds in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Rinse well the rounds; drain and then pat dry between two sheets of paper towels. Put slices into a large bowl.
- Bring to boil 3 cups of water, dill seed, vinegar, and garlic to a boil in a medium pan, stirring. Reduce the heat to simmer for 4 minutes. Let this mixture cool slightly for about 10 minutes.
- Add chopped dill to the cucumber slices or rounds to combine. Pour in the brine. Let completely cook, about 30 minutes. Transfer the entire mixture to airtight containers and refrigerate for at least 1 week (pickles will keep for 3 weeks more).