Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day!  Much Love from Humbert and Lo!

Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day!  Much Love from Humbert and Lo!

Keeping it Country: Homemade Pickles with Humbert and Lo!

I’ve been living in Brooklyn for about 4 years now and it seems as though there are a billion artisan pickle companies…who knew pickles were so trendy??? So, I was feeling a little left out of the pickle bandwagon…am I the only person in Brooklyn who doesn’t know how to make pickles?!?! So I decided it was time to make my own. I mean if everyone is doing it then it can’t be that hard right? Well as it turns out, it really isn’t that hard ha! With that said, Humbert and Lo will be releasing its own line of artisan pickles in various specialty flavors which will be offered in select boutique food markets this fall. And of course I’m only kidding about that, but I almost had you there right? Anywho, I decided to post instructions on how I made my pickles so you too can become a pickle master. Fresh homemade pickles taste better than the average grocery store jar, and once you get a handle on making plain ones, you can then experiment with different spices and veggies. I promise you’ll love these country kitchen snacks!

HALF SOUR PICKLES - WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

3-4 Medium Sized Jars with Lids
(The ones I used were bought at Ikea, but you can use any new or recycled jar)

Recommended Veggies for Pickling (use some or all)
Cucumbers (of course!)
Radishes
Baby Tomatoes
Shallots
Sugar Snaps
Carrots (the yummiest!)
Okra
String Beans
Celery
Baby Bell Peppers
Zucchini
Squash

Pickling Spice
Dry Pickling Spice (1-1.5 tsp per jar **you can find in the spice section of most grocery stores**)
Large Garlic Cloves (1-2 per jar)
Fresh Dill (1-2 sprigs per jar)
Fresh Ginger (2-3 small chunks per jar)
Uncut Jalapeno (1 per jar **add only if you want a little kick. If you want exta kick, score the skin with a knife, or snip the tip off of the bottom)

Pickling Brine (makes 3-4 jars)
1/4 cup Kosher salt (*must be Kosher*)
1/4 cup of white vinegar (*must be 5% acidity or higher*)
8 cups water

HALF SOUR PICKLES - INSTRUCTIONS
1. MAKE BRINE:
     A. Add Salt, Vinegar, and Water to a pot and bring to a boil
     B. Once boiling, turn off burner and give the mixture a really good stir making sure all salt is dissolved
     C. Allow brine to cool to room temperature. While brine is cooling, follow the next steps:
2. Wash your produce thoroughly
3. Wash jars thoroughly with HOT water
4. Add Dry Pickling Spice to Jars (1-1.5 tsp per jar *important - add spices before vegetables otherwise spices will flat to the top*)
5. Prep Vegetables: Chop ends off of radishes. It is best to avoid chopping other vegetables so that they remain crunchy, but if you must cut the cucumbers or carrots to fit in the jar, cut the width of the vegetables (circular) exposing the least amount of the inside. Do not peel the vegetables.
6. Add vegetables and remaining pickling spices into the jar. Be sure to stuff everything tightly leaving room at the top for the brine
7. When brine is cool, add brine into the jar. Fill so that all vegetables are submerged.
8. Place a small glass or mug on the top of the jar so that vegetables do not float to the top. **It is very important that vegetables remain submerged. If any parts are exposed, they will mold**
9. Leave jars OPEN with glass on top UN-REFRIGERATED for 24-48 hours. Cover jars and glass with a paper-towel. (I waited approximately 36 hours which was perfect. The longer you leave it, the more sour they will become.)
10. After 24-48 hours, refrigerate jars for about 3 days, then EAT! Pickles will last up to 4 weeks.

Once you get a handle on pickling, you can experiment with different spices and vegetables…there are a million options!

Give veggies a good wash.

If you need to cut your veggies to fit in the jars, cut across the width (not length) exposing the least amount of the inside so your veggies stay crunchy.

Pack veggies tightly leaving little room. This will keep contents from floating to the top.

After adding all contents, pour the brine into the jars covering all vegetables. Do not allow any veggies to be exposed as the uncovered parts will mold. Leave room at the top of the jars as fermentation causes some expansion.

*Remember to put the dry spices in the jar first. If you forget (like I did), they will all float to the top. If they do, give the jar a few taps to help some of the spices sink downward. The rest will slowly sink as the pickling process continues.

You may need to cover your jars with a glass to keep the vegetables from floating to the top. Cover the jars and glasses with a paper-towel as they sit out.

After 24-48 hours, close the jars and put them into the refrigerator for 3 days. If you pickle radishes, they will lose their color so your brine may be slightly reddish. Otherwise, the brine should be fairly clear and easy to see through. If the brine becomes cloudy, you may have a problem so DO NOT EAT.

After 3 days in the refrigerator, enjoy your pickles! They are great as a snack by themselves or to eat with other foods. Pickles and burgers…yum! The shallots are particularly great on sandwiches. Enjoy!

Keeping it Old School

If you have a sweet-tooth and haven’t discovered this yet…welcome to the Mother Ship! I came across www.oldtimecandy.com some time ago on a quest to buy Hot Fries and Lemonheads in bulk (yeah my cravings can get out of control at times). The site has loads of old school candy that you probably grew up eating from decades as far back as the pre 1920’s. **Fun fact: did you know that the original Altoids recipe was created over 200 years ago? (If you did you’re probably a nerd…but that’s ok). Anyway if your mouth is craving some nostalgia and you’re looking for Bottle Caps, Candy Buttons, Jujyfruits, or Rock Candy, check out Old Time Candy…I promise it will change your life. Did I mention you can order in bulk!!!


I'M A.J. AND I LOVE:

MODERN DESIGN,
VINTAGE DETAILS,
EVERYTHING OLD,
INFUSED WITH THE NEW.

I AM A GRAPHIC DESIGNER
TURNED FASHION DESIGNER
TURNED LOVER...
OF ALL THINGS CREATIVE.