As long as I can remember we have been a pickle family.  They are set out during holidays, dinners and well, just about any time we get together.  And they are the best.  I really mean it.  The. Best. Eva.  Better than any other pickle out there.  Like,  so good that for Christmas most of us grandkids would be thrilled to receive a case of the desired dills as the big-mother-of-all-gifts-gift.  #score

My Dapa and Nana have been the Co-CEOs of the pickle making team my entire life; they rock at it!  It was their thing, and we loved that.

And somehow the passion for pickle production was lost on the next generation.  And we decided that,  as the grandkids, we needed to keep this alive so our kids and their kids could grow up eating these amazing pickles that have been woven so deeply into our families memories.

So we did it – and we documented it.  Enjoy!  We hope our family’s recipe and love of pickles makes its way into your family someway, somehow.  Dapa and Nana would love to know that this pickle love lives on….

PS: Anyone who invites me over in the next year, expect a jar of pickles.  #yourewelcome #andersonpicklesforeva

  1.  Start with the basics.  Dill & Baby Cucumbers.  If you have access to a Farmers Market, that is the best (and the only way we have ever done it).  Dapa’s advice – get there right as it opens so you have the best selection.  And, make sure that they are all the small ones as they are priced per bushel and they smaller ones are more expensive.  He makes them dump them out to inspect because  once someone threw some larger ones on the bottom to take up room and he found out once he got home.  #scheisters #foolmeonce.   Other ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store – ground mustard, fresh garlic cloves, granulated alum, vinegar, canning & pickling salt and mason jars with metal lids.
  2. Wash the pickles in a top loading washer on cold and gentle cycle to get all the dirt off.  I am sure there are other ways, but this is ours.  And pretty darn efficient.
  3. Transer to clean cooler to keep cool while making brine
  4. Make brine by boiling 1 quart vinegar, 3 quarts water. Then add canning salt.  Bring to a boil.
  5. As brine is cooking, fill clean mason jars with 1/4 tsp dry mustard, 1 clove of garlic (peeled, but keep whole), 2 springs of fresh dill, 1/2 tsp of crystal alum.  Once ingredients are inserted, fill jar with baby cucumbers.  Make sure you wipe rim of jars with warm, wet towelr to clean – this ensures a good and tight seal.
  6. Once brine is boiling and salt is dissolved, being to transfer to jars.  Be careful, it will be hot.
  7. Move jars into large pot with boiling water (cover as much of the jar as you can, without the water going over the top).  Boil for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from boiling water and let cool. Store in a cool, dry place for 6 weeks before opening. 
  9. Enjoy.  And give so others can enjoy, too.  Cutest tags ever.  Finish with ribbon and voilà!



XOXO

Some fun pickle facts for your enjoyment curtesy of Mentalfloss.com. #kindaamazingactually #picklelove

1. PICKLING IS THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD.

Cucumbers, native to the Tigris Valley in India, were first pickledway back in 2030 B.C., although preserving food in a vinegar or brine solution may stretch back even further with the Mesopotamians.

2. AMERICA GOT ITS NAME FROM A PICKLE MERCHANT.

Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci was once a ship chandler, supplying merchants and sailors with supplies for their voyages, including preserved meats and vegetables. His nickname, the pickle merchant, likely arose from his former trade, although writer Ralph Waldo Emerson derisively referred to Vespucci as a “pickle-dealer” in his book English Traits.

3. THE WORD “PICKLE” COMES FROM THE NETHERLANDS.

In Dutch, to salt or brine something is called pekel. The word may also come from the German pökel or pökeln.

4. WE EAT A LOT OF PICKLES.

Americans consume about 9 pounds of pickles per person every year. The most popular type remains kosher dill, thanks to the large numbers of Eastern European Jews who emigrated to the United States and New York City in the late 19th century.

5. CLEOPATRA USED THEM TO PRESERVE HER GOOD LOOKS …

Cleopatra was supposedly a pickle devotee. She ate them regularly, believing that they helped keep her gorgeous.

6. … WHILE CAESAR AND NAPOLEON THOUGHT THEY COULD BUILD MUSCLE.

Julius Caesar and other Roman emperors had soldiers eat the crispy preserves because they were thought to provide strength. Napoleon Bonaparte, like Caesar, valued his troops’ health, and offered 12,000 francs to anyone who could safely preserve food for his soldiers.

7. SHAKESPEARE COINED THE PHRASE, “IN A PICKLE.”

Shakespeare used it to refer to finding oneself in a difficult position in The Tempest. In the 1611 play, Alonso asks Trinculo, “How camest thou in this pickle?” to which Trinculo responds, “I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that, I fear me, will never out of my bones: I shall not fear fly-blowing.”

8. PICKLES ARE CURED IN OPEN, OUTDOOR VATS.

Companies that produce pickles on a mass scale ferment their cucumbers in giant outdoor pots in a salt brine. Yes, that means anything can get in there, including bird droppings and bugs, but the sun’s UV and infrared rays help prevent yeast and mold growth.

9. THE U.S. RATIONED PICKLES DURING WWII.

Forty percent of all pickles produced in America were set aside for the Armed Forces and soldiers’ ration kits.

10. THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES USED PICKLE JUICE TO BEAT THE COWBOYS.

During a hot September 3, 2000, game in Irving, Texas, when temperatures on the field of Texas Stadium reached 109 degrees, Philadelphia players chugged pickle juice and credited the briny solution for their 41-14 win. The Eagles outgained Dallas 425-167, and defensive end Hugh Douglass said, “I may start drinking pickle juice when I’m home chilling.”

A BYU study later confirmed that drinking pickle juice can help relieve a cramp 37 percent faster than drinking water.

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