Frugal Healthy Recipe: Homemade Pickles

By Marissa Bognanno, The Frugal Diet contributing Chef & Author of "The Boot" Blog

Sometimes I wonder how on earth I live in a place where sushi and pickles and pancakes and other delicacies don't exist. A pickle is the ultimate snack! Crunchy and salty and crisp - think the Vlasic commercial - that’s what I feel every time. In college I stole so many pickles from various roommates. (Sorry roommates. I didn’t take a lot, several, let’s say, and only the small ones.)

Real Simple has a great recipe for homemade pickles - I had to try it! Something that once seemed impossible to make is now waiting for me in my fridge. Mine are missing the dill seed (sad, kind of a crucial ingredient) and maybe they aren’t that good, but I swear I’m going to perfect them. And maybe sell them at markets. They’ll be diffident at first, but like Zumba, pickles will catch on in Barletta, and soon every small child will be eating pickles like I did instead of Nutella. Now if only I can create maple syrup somehow...

Almost Hands Free Pickles

4 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
kosher salt

Place the cucumbers in a 1-quart jar or some other container with a tight-fitting lid.
In a bowl, combine the vinegar, onion, garlic, sugar, dill seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¾ cup hot tap water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The pickles will last up to 1 week.

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