Easy Dill Pickles

Pickles are incredibly easy to make! The main ingredient, besides cucumbers, is patience. You won’t find little pickling cucumbers until late in the summer, but you can make these with English or Persian cucumbers any time of year.
 

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Hands-on time: 20   |    Total time: 48   |    Makes: 2 quarts

KITCHEN GEAR

Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Medium-sized pot
Large glass or stainless steel bowl
Small plate (to fit inside the bowl)

INGREDIENTS

5 cup water
2 tablespoon kosher salt
3⁄4 cup white vinegar
2 or 2 packages of Persian cucumbers, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 large fresh dill sprigs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put the water, salt, and vinegar in the pot, put the pot on the stove, and turn the heat to medium. When the mixture, called “brine,” boils (you’ll know it’s boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface), turn the heat off and set the pot aside to cool completely.
  2. Put the cucumbers, garlic, and dill in the bowl, then pour in the cooled brine.
  3. Lay the plate over the top of the cucumbers (choose a plate small enough to fit in the bowl, but large enough to cover most of the vegetables, since it will help keep them submerged in the brine).
  4. Leave the bowl on the counter, at room temperature, for 2 to 4 days, until the cucumbers are as sour as you like them. (Once you refrigerate them, they’ll stop getting sour.)
  5. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. (But only if you don’t eat them all first!
     

KITCHEN SCIENCE

These pickles get sour from the added vinegar as well as the natural process of fermentation, during which healthy bacteria convert the cucumber’s natural sugar into tart lactic acid.

USE YOUR SENSES

Taste a cucumber slice at every stage: plain; right when you pour the brine over them; after 1 day; after 2 days. What do you notice?