Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vegan Goodness: Pickle Power

***Hey, friends!  Let's give a warm welcome to our newest guest blogger,  Theresa of Vegan Goodness.  You may recognize her from behind the Revival counter where she has been Shopgirling for the last few years.  Once a month she will share her passion for vegan cooking, baking, and lifestyle with us at Revival, and we feel pretty lucky.***


There's been a lot of talk on the art of pickles in the blogosphere lately, I'm looking at you, Iowa City!  Well, Vegan Goodness has it's own pickle adventure to share. 

I grew up on homemade pickles. The walls of my childhood home never contained store bought pickles and I have always wanted to pick up that torch in my own abode. Canning, though, is a process I have yet to master or attempt, but I now know how to make spicy refrigerator pickles! 

If you're like me and are intimidated by the canning process, try this refrigerator pickle recipe I adapted from here:

First, go to the Iowa City Farmer's Market because it kicks ass and buy yourself some cukes and you might as well buy yourself some garlic cloves while you're at it since you'll need that, too.  

I used an old honey jar and a glass canister with a metal wire clamp. The honey jar style would make a nice gift although I ate all of mine  before I had a chance to share. 

Then follow this fairly simple recipe:
12  3 to 4 inch cucumbers*, quartered lengthwise
2 cups water
1 3/4 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh dill weed 
2-3 tablespoons  white sugar
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
4 sprigs fresh dill weed

*I didn't specifically use pickling cucumbers but you certainly can.

Combine the cucumbers, water, vinegar, chopped dill, sugar, garlic, salt, pickling spice, dill seed, and red pepper flakes into a large bowl. Stir and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until the sugar and salt dissolve.  

Remove the cucumbers and place them in the sanitized jars. You will need two or three, depending on the size of the jars. I ran mine under extremely hot water after thoroughly washing them. If you have a dishwasher, use the sanitize option for best results. 

Ladle the liquid from the bowl to cover. Place a sprig of fresh dill into each jar and tighten the lids. Refrigerate for 10 days before eating.  Use within 1 month.

I bought all of my ingredients at either the farmer's market or the New Pioneer Food Coop. Buying the spices in bulk is great because you can buy the exact amount you need and not have a surplus of random ingredients left over. 

Photo by Chris Ford

About our Blogger: 

A lover of nature, board games, animals, Volvos, crafting, and adventure of all varieties, Theresa is also a talented and enthusiastic vegan baker & cook.  She has been known to raise the bar at every potluck she attends and always breaks for squirrels. 

Read more Vegan Goodness at her blog 
Like Vegan Goodness on Facebook here 
Read her Revival Shopgirl Profile here

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