Preserving Summer Lovin' with Pickles

Things are getting a little bit tricky in my world.  I'm about to experience my first actual fall (and then winter!) in 4 years.  I grew up in Massachusetts, but spent the last few years in Florida, thawing out.  My calling to Portland was strong enough to give up those heavenly, tropical winters, but that doesn't mean I'm ready for what's coming.  I'm a total baby when it comes to being cold, and I'm not a huge fan of layers, puffy jackets or having scarves tightly wrapped around my neck. 

Even still, I trust my journey and know why I'm here for now.  So I will keep on smiling and find joy in every moment--I promise! For now, I'm working on preserving the bounty that Portland farmers markets have to offer.  I have always loved dill pickles--and as in my last post--I've been aware of the value of probiotic rich foods for many years.  Home fermenting was a bit overwhelming to me at first, mostly because I just hadn't tried it yet. 

I bought pickles & kimchee when I felt like having them, but in many of the places that I've lived, it was really hard to find both raw and organic fermented foods. Lots of pickles aren't really raw, meaning they're pretty much probiotic-less and even if they are traditionally fermented, the cucumbers are usually conventional.  Boo!  Now Portland is a total exception and I actually have access to some awesome, local, raw and organic (woah, all three!!!) fermented foods. 

Even still, I'm pretty particular when it comes to pickles, so I picked up a bag full of cucumbers, flowering dill and garlic at the farmers market to make my own. These are nice and sour, and you can play with the amount of spice and dill flavor that you want to infuse in the cucumbers.  The apple cider vinegar here acts as a starter and I think results in a cleaner flavor than straight up lacto-fermentation.

Full disclosure, I have no idea where the original recipe for this came from.  It was passed from my uncle to my brother and then to me.  I think we've all made some adjustments along the way. 

Though I usually just use cucumbers, you can also pickle radishes, celery, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini…get creative and enjoy the last of summer's healthy harvest well into fall!  

Apple Cider Vinegar Pickle Recipe

Garlic Dill Pickles makes 2 - 32oz jars Ingredients:

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced into a few pieces each
  • 1 bunch of dill, roughly chopped (if the dill is flowering, even better)
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • about 16 organic pickling cucumbers, sliced in half (depending on their size you may fit a few more or less in the jars)
  • 64 oz water
  • 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Himalayan salt
  1.  Start with 2 clean 32oz mason jars.
  2. Place a sliced garlic clove in each jar.
  3. Place a handful of dill in each jar.
  4. Place 1/2 tablespoon of pickling spice in each jar.
  5. Stuff the jars with as many cucumbers as you can comfortably fit.  There should be some room to breathe, but they don't need a ton.
  6. In a large container, mix the water, apple cider vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves.
  7. Pour this brine into your jars until the cucumbers are covered.
  8. Cover and shake the jar to distribute the flavors.  Remover the cover for fermenting.
  9. Place a small weight over the cucumbers so that they always remain covered by liquid.  I use a smaller jar filled with water.
  10. Cover the open jars with a light towel.  Let sit for 3 days, stirring daily to distribute the spices.  After 3 full days, it's time to taste test!  Set them in the fridge and enjoy!


  • ok, thanks.


  • Hi Nancy! I have kept them for up to 2 months in the fridge. Enjoy :)


  • These sound great. How long do they last in the frig? Thanks.


Leave a Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published