Pickle: (1) a solution or bath for preserving or cleaning, a brine or vinegar solution in which foods are preserved; (2) any food item preserved via definition 1; (3) a nasty bit of luck, a bad situation, as in “in a pickle.”
The goal of pickling is to stop the march of time by shutting down enzymatic action in the target food and by rendering it either inhospitable to or unavailable to microbes, germs, little meanies and so on.
If sour pickles aren’t your thing:
Kinda Sorta Sour Pickles
- 1/2 onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 medium cucumbers (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice
- 4 whole garlic cloves (smashed)
- Combine the onion and cucumber slices in a clean spring-top jar.
- Combine the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the garlic, in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 full minutes to wake up the spice flavors.
- Add the garlic cloves to the jar. Slowly and gently pour the pickling liquid over the onion and cucumber slices, filling to the top of the jar.
- Cool to room temperature. Top off the pickles with any remaining pickling liquid and refrigerate.
Leftover pickle brine can be added to marinades, salad dressings or mayonnaise. Oh, and pickle juice in beer really is quite refreshing.