Labor Day weekend represents the last hurrah before fall and the homecoming parades officially commence. It’s a great time to try out some easy recipes, especially if you’re planning on doing a traditional barbecue with all the fixings. Nothing tastes quite so last-of-summer than a juicy hamburger fresh off the grill that’s topped with tomatoes and a few slices of pickles.
For those who want to bring a homemade element to their Labor Day picnic, homemade kosher dill pickles offer an easy, delicious, and practical option. If making homemade pickles conjures up images of pressure cookers and 40 zillion Bell jars, never fear. Below, you’ll find a simple recipe that allows you to use up some of those cukes that have started to appear in your garden.
Basic Pickle Recipe
Gather your vegetables to be pickled. You want to start with vegetables that are crunchy. They produce the best results.
For each pound of veggies you plan on pickling, add:
- 1 c. vinegar
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 TBSP salt, kosher
- Clean all your veggies.
- Start water to boiling and then blanch them, lightly.
- Pack these in containers with lids that are air tight.
- Boil the brine ingredients in a small pan.
- Pour the salted liquid over the veggies.
- Put the lids on, and then allow them to cool until they reach room temperature.
- Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours. They’ll keep in the fridge for about a month.
Types of Food to Pickle
According to “The New Food Lover’s Companion,” the following vegetables make good pickling options.
- Baby corn
- Watermelon rind
- Pearl onions
Pickling spices include:
- Bay leaves
- Mustard seeds
Other Tips to Make Your Labor Day Recipes Tastier
If you really want to learn how to make pickles the old-fashioned way, try this recipe from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
If you’re making homemade bread for Labor Day instead of buying it, here’s a recipe you might like.
Or cook turkey burgers on your George Foreman Grill instead of barbecuing for a healthier option.
Did You Know…?
Pickling with salt is one of the oldest-known food preservation methods in the world? According to the book “A History of the World in 100 Recipes,” recipes for brining ham have been found, dating back to the ancient Roman times. Because people didn’t have the modern refrigeration methods that exist today, it became necessary to find ways to preserve food. Using salt represented one of the most popular and practical of all these methods. And it explains why salt was so important, it was a form of currency during those times.
Learn a Little More…
Watch the video at the top of the screen to learn why fermented foods like pickles and yogurt are so good for you!
Herbst, Sharon Tyler. The New Food Lover’s Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6,000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms. 3rd ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2001. Print.
Sitwell, William. A History of Food in 100 Recipes. New York: Little, Brown, 2013. Print.