Just as I suspected, the longer the cucumbers hibernated in my fridge with their roommates garlic and dill, the better they got. It took no small feat of patience to wait the 10 days for the pickles to....pickle. Many (namely my Grandpa Lou) dismissed 10 days as "much to short for a real pickle." Well, I think he may be surprised. This recipe satisfied my desire for pickle-y-ness and kicked up the heat with hot red pepper.
Spicy Dill Pickles Bon Appétit | August 1993
Makes three 1 1/2-pint jars.
12 pickling cucumbers
2 cups water
1 ¾ cups distilled white vinegar
1 ½ cups packed coarsely chopped fresh dill
½ cup sugar
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 ½ teaspoons dill seeds
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Combine all ingredients except dill sprigs in large bowl. Stir, let stand at room temperature 2 hours until sugar and salt dissolve.
Transfer 4 cucumbers to each of three 1 1/2-pint wide-mouth jars. Pour pickling mixture over to cover. Place a few dill sprigs in each jar. Cover jars with lids and close tightly. Refrigerate at least 10 days. Pickles will stay fresh for up to 1 month. Keep refrigerated.
I tasted the first pickle on Monday and a few more today. They just keep getting better. Good flavor and great color. The garlic was wonderful. I upped the amount red pepper flakes-- a great call if I do say so myself. Alas, I haven't reached pickle Nirvana. They seemed a little too vinegary, and not perfectly crisp, however I suspect that the cucumbers had sat on my counter too long.
My genial critic, Grandpa Lou has promised to send me his mother's pickle recipe, so I may be at it again. But for now, I'll all pickled out. Good luck with this one, happy snacking!