Friday, July 3, 2020

Fun With Kids and Cucumbers

Jennifer Marsh
Herald Staff

Pickles are a summertime favorite for some families but the act of making them isn’t as common it was in the past. Bobbie Hancock of the Mercer County Nutrition Education Program shared an easy pickle recipe for kids from Chopped Magazine on social media. “I think all kids like pickles,” said Hancock. “They're incredibly easy to make and it's like a science experiment, too!” Hancock said the main ingredient, besides cucumbers, is patience.

Local students Searra Stratton, 11, Grace Cochran, 10 and David Cochran, 11 spent last weekend learning to make pickles straight from the garden with Hancock’s help. “The hardest part about making the pickles was getting the cucumbers from the garden,” said Grace Cochran. “They were pokey.”
Grace’s brother David said the easiest part was learning how to use a kitchen chef knife. Both Grace and David have little kitchen experience but would like to continue to learn. “Cooking is important. I like to help my mom make cookies,” said Grace. “I would like to help her more with other things.” When asked why they wanted to make pickles the said, “We love pickles.”

How to make Dill Pickles
• 5 cups water
• 3/4 cup white vinegar
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1 1/2 pounds small pickling cucumbers or any kind of cucumber
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled
• 4 large fresh dill sprigs
Wash your hands with soap and water then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on the counter.

To make the brine: Put the water, vinegar and salt in the pot, put the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. When the mixture boils (you'll know it's boiling when you see bubbles breaking all over its surface) turn off the heat and set the pot aside to cool.

Wash the cucumbers and trim off the blossom ends (that's the end opposite where it grows). If you're using large cucumbers, cut them into 1/2 inch slices. Put the cucumbers, garlic cloves and dill sprigs in the bowl. Add the cooled brine and stir well.

Lay a plate over the top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged in the brine. Put the bowl on a counter where it can sit undisturbed and leave the cucumbers there for 2 or 3 days, until they are as sour as you like them.

Enjoy right away, or cover and refrigerator up to two weeks. For more information follow the Mercer County Nutrition Education Program on Facebook.

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