my husband, the pickle man

1 Oct

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I’ve always said that Brian would make a better housewife (man) than I would. Seriously, he’s just better at it most home related things then I am. If he is left alone at our house for the day you can pretty much guarantee you’re coming home to a few loads of laundry done (and folded meticulously. Although he never manages to put any of it away? ), our garden pruned and watered (as well as all the bounty he picked in a big bowl on the kitchen island), Frank walked and bathed & the house straightened.

He’s kinda the perfect husband.

He also happens to be really good in kitchen. He can confidently follow any recipe as well as free style it with random ingredients in the fridge. But he really shines once a year when he pickles. He takes pickling pretty seriously. It all begins in March when he dutifully goes to our local Home Depot and buys a few special pickling cucumber seedlings and then spends many months nurturing them in preparation for his big pickling day in early September.

Sadly, I missed shooting the big day because I was out. He gave me no notice!! I happened to call him to check in and he said he couldn’t talk because he was busy pickling his cucumbers…oh and green beans & okra. Both new additions to his process.

Sure enough when I got home there were eight jars of goodness lined up in our fridge. I was so excited to try them that I quickly reached into one of the jars without thinking. I was reminded by the “pickle man” that I had to wait a week for the magic to happen.

Clearly, I am not a pickler nor am I known for my patience.

A few days ago it was finally time to try the pickles and let me tell you they were SO good. Although, I am warning you now that he calls his recipe “Brian’s Atomic Pickle Recipe”. They are spicy as shit! We love them but I realize not everyone has a death wish so if you do indeed use his recipe, feel free to tone it down.

ps...Brian was very reluctant to share “his” special atomic pickle recipe. HA. He made me agree last night that if he gave me the recipe I would promise to ask readers to share any pickle recipes they might have. He’s clearly trying to start a pickling movement and community!! So, if any of you have one…please share! Although, he also wanted me to make it very clear that he does not like sweet pickle recipes. So, there you have it folks.

(photo taken last year on pickling day when I was actually present)


Brians Atomic Pickle Recipe


8 cloves garlic peeled
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh dill still on the stem
8 cups water
3/4 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 to 1/3 cup kosher salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 pounds pickling cucumbers, quartered or sliced in rounds
Hot peppers to taste (I use 4 halved cayenne peppers per jar)

Combine the water, vinegar, salt, mustard seed, and dried dill in a large pot and bring to a boil and cook until the salt dissolves.
Meanwhile, place peeled garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, peppercorn and 1/2 of the dill on the bottom of a 1 gallon jar or two 1/2 gallon jars (divide ingredients evenly if using 2 jars). Pack cucumbers in jar(s) and put remaining dill on top.
Pour the brine over the cucumbers and cover the jar(s). Let the jars sit on your counter, but not in direct sunlight until cooled, about an hour, and then put them in the fridge. The cucumbers will have begun pickling after 24 hours, but wait a full week if you want them to be fully pickled.



16 Responses to “my husband, the pickle man”

  1. erin haslag (@erinhaslag) October 1, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    I’m going to hit up B for recipes and tips on canning next year! They look beautiful!

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      Believe me he is always happy to talk pickles & canning techniques! Hit him up any time:)

  2. barbarapotter October 1, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Oh Kate, I can’t wait to do this. I have a huge bounty of cucumbers from the garden and I was just saying to Jack I miss the wonderful pickles I used to buy for a nickel from the neighborhood Jewish grocer as a child after school. They were like magic, marinating in huge wooden barrels for ever with all of these magic ingredients that infused the best flavor in the world. I was telling him I want to do this (in jars of course) and he said yuck as expected. Well I guess I will have to eat them all by myself. Thanks for sharing. Inspired me for sure.

  3. barbarapotter October 1, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Ok Kate. How perfect. I have a sh@*tload of cucumbers from the garden and I was Jack telling Jack I wanted to make pickles. I miss the wonderful pickles as a child we used to get from the neighborhood Jewish grocer where I grew up in South Philly where they marinated in a big wooden barrel forever. You would buy them and savor the perfect flavor and they were soooo good. I want to do this. Thanks for sharing. By the way my husband Jack says yuck. Oh well, I guess I will have to eat them all by myself….:)

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      I love that you have found memories of the wonderful pickles you used to get as a child from the neighborhood Jewish grocer! You must pickle the sh@*tload of pickles you have in your garden! Homemade pickles are so tasty:)

  4. di @ life of di. October 1, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Sounds like you have one awesome hubby! Homemade pickles are SO delicious! The family I nannyed for made the best pickles – they weren’t super spicy but still enjoyable. I can’t wait until I have the space for my own garden 🙂

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      He is a pretty awesome hubby! Brian fought hard to create our garden space considering we live in a loft. It was so important to him! Our patio is filled with various planters. I now totally appreciate being able to go outside for herbs and such for cooking dinner. 🙂

  5. Lonifoundherself October 1, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    YES! Mike and I just got our garden back (it’s a whole thing about rotating garden plots and waitlists and whatnot). Pickles are on the wishlist. Also, I’m requesting on behalf of Mike that at least one atomic pickle be available for him to try when we come over in a couple of weeks.

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Yay, to getting your garden plot back!!! That’s so exciting. Brian says he will most definitely save a few pickles for you guys:)

  6. righteousbruin9 October 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Pickling is an amazing skill. I did most of the household stuff, so Penny could focus on her classroom and planning. She was a master pickler, though, especially with kimchi.

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      Penny did Kimchi! I love that! I’m going to request that Brian gets into that. YUM:)

  7. Amy October 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    I’ve never tried pickling before! I can’t wait to give this a go this summer when the farmers markets are in full swing and the veg is just begging to be preserved for the winter months! Thanks for the recipe Brian! Chris is going to love the addition of chilli too 🙂

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Keep me posted!!! It sounds like Brian and Chris would get along very well:)

  8. Scott October 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    I must make my way over there this week. How about a batch of pickled fennel? I just grilled some tonight for dinner and sparked the idea to pickle it after ready this.

    • kate365til October 2, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      I will pass the pickled fennel request along to Brian….:)

  9. darlynschimmel October 2, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I wish I had a pickle right now.

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