Friday, June 23, 2023

Easy Homemade Pickles

As an avid gardener, I don't always make the best decisions when I am planting my biannual garden (in Arizona we have two planting seasons, spring and fall - double the fun!). Sometimes I see something at the nursery that I think I would like to try out, but it comes in a six pack of transplants. And instead of using what I want and composting the rest, I tend to find a place to plant everything. 
So this summer we ended up with six Armenian cucumber plants. If you don't know what an Armenian cucumber is, think of a normal cucumber and then multiply it by 11. Some of our cucumbers have been more than two feet long, and all of our cucumber plants have been abundant. At the prime picking a few weeks ago we were pulling off four or five cucumbers per day. That's a lot of cucumber! 

When I took one to my neighbor, he sent me a great recipe for homemade pickles. I have since modified it and added a key upgrade. This is great for Armenian cucumbers. Here's how to make it. 


- 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar (you could probably use regular vinegar, but I like the health benefits of apple cider vinegar)
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 1/2 T. salt
- 1 sliced onion
- 1-2 Armenian cucumbers

Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a half gallon glass jar. Add water to the halfway mark. Add the onion first, and then top it off with as many sliced cucumbers as you can fit in the jar. Add water to the top and refrigerate. 

You can start eating these right away, although they get better after being refrigerated overnight. I don't know how long they last in the refrigerator, since ours don't last more than a day. Once the cucumbers are gone, cut up more cucumbers and add to the jar. Keep this process going as long as you can. 

My 11-year-old has eaten his weight in cucumbers this past week. I can hardly keep up with how quickly these are consumed. 

But here's the great addition. I have a special "Daddy Only" jar. Actually, anybody who wants them can have them, but I'm the only one in my family that likes them. They are made as above, but I add two chopped fresh from the garden jalapeno. It is my very own jar of spicy pickles, and they are delicious! Adjust the number of jalapenos to taste. 

While it may be too late to add these to your garden this year, add this to your garden journal to try out next year. Don't have a garden journal? Me neither, but I'm starting one this summer so I can remember the varieties that I plant each year, where I plant them, how they do, and what worked/didn't work. I'll also make notes of things that I want to try the following year that I read about, like spicy Armenian pickles! 

As always, happy gardening! 

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