I am learning to cook with fresh herbs it has been fun to do. I am going to plant a herb garden next year. A friend of mine was talking about foods we like and she mentioned pickles and we were talking about how much we both loved pickles. She found a recipe for sun cooked pickles. I am going to share it with you today and hopefully you will love it!!! Here is my contraption that I am using to keep raccoons out of mine while it is cooking. I am going to give you other tips to help too! This is a kennel for pets and it is keeping them pickles safe while they cook!!!
Sun Cooked Pickles
(measurements are for 1 quart jar)
1 tsp of sugar
1 1/2 Tbls salt
2 1/2 Tbls vinegar
1 dill head with seeds
cucumbers that are between 6-9 inches long
(this is one of the hints) Combine the sugar, salt and vinegar with boiling water. My first batch I followed the directions and put the cucumbers first and then everything else but it didn't mix well so do it backwards. After you have added the boiling water and made sure that it has basically dissolved start adding the cucumbers. This is your brine. The recipe that I had said to split the cumbers in half but I split mine in quarters to make spears. add the dill at the end and put the lid on. I used canning jars and it needs to be tightened one turn. I have it tight enough that I could have the lid "holding" but not totally screwed on. It needs to be loose for the brine to be able to bubble out a bit. Sit the jar outside in the sun and let it "cook". It takes 3 to 4 days to cook. The brine will start to get cloudy and the cucumbers will look more like pickles. After they are done bring them in and refrigerate them.
-Like I said before combining the ingredients put the sugar, salt and vinegar in and let them dissolve makes it easier.
-If you can't put the jars in something to keep the animals out of them they need to be taken in at night. I found that the cage works great.
-The pickles will not be bright green like you see in the store. They will be a nice green color.
-The sun may bleach the cucumbers. This is okay and doesn't effect the taste.
-Be careful carrying the jars, the brine makes them slippery.
-Make sure and have tons of cucumbers because everyone is going to love them!!!!
This is my 3 quart jar that will be done tomorrow (Wednesday). We have already gone through 3 quarts!!! This is a new favorite of ours!
Updated hints (7/20/2010)
-When using canning jars, flip the lid upside down and then put the band on. This way you don't risk the chance that the jar will seal, causing the pickles to spoil.
-Store the pickles in another, larger container so that you are just using a few containers to make them in. Large plastic peanut containers or pretzel containers work well.