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Yummy Stuff from way back
Bubby Lily was born a ten minute walk from where I live now, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Soon after, her father, Grandpa Joe, moved the whole family to Brooklyn. It was there that he perfected his famous pickle recipe. Crunchy, garlicky, with lots of herbs! This was the prototypical Brooklyn pickle made from fresh jersey gerkins that were bought from a pushcart vendor on his way home from work as a waiter at Ratner’s.
Gyrations, who knew?
Years later I discovered that the secret to his great success was gyrations. In Grandpa Joe’s Brooklyn apartment the pickles jars were stored on the window shelf. When the Brooklyn El train rode by the motion from from the train would agitate the pickles. Because the pickles were shaken every half hour, they became ultra flavourful, and super tasty.
Keeping it Thrifty
I actually never ate them, as they were a thing before I was born. But this tasty snack was legendary among the cousins my mother’s age. These pickles are crunchy, intense, and cost effective. A delightful jaw of organic, raw pickles will run you $10. This home-made version can be very thrifty, especially if you buy in bulk from your local organic farmer, or grow your own (on your fire escape..?)
I am doing it my way
Of course, as we know, history is written by the survivors, so I have added my own twist to the recipe. I have preserved the Jewish, Brooklyn intention. However, I had to give it my own modern twist. We are taking out the tradition of using a heated vinegar solution in which the pickles are submerged. Instead, my pickles are bathed in a gray salt bath that is never cooked. The result is a vinegar free, raw, pro-biotic rich snack. I have found that many people can’t tolerate vinegar. White vinegar especially is difficult on sensitive stomachs. You and your family can confidently eat Grandpa Joe’s pickles every day and know that you are helping to support your digestive health.
I hope Bubby Lily and Grandpa Joe would like my version of the pickles. If they were here, I am confident that they would have something to say.
Bubby Lily’s Thrifty Tips-Grandpa Joe’s Pickles
Grandpa Joe’s pickles are tasty, raw, and easy to make. This recipe is a great place to recycle your glass jars. I like to wash them in the dishwasher and keep them ready for when I am in pickle mode. Make sure the jars are sterile! I usually take them out of the dishwater and place the lids half on, so they can dry, but no dust will get inside. You can also use Mason Jars that you buy at the hardware store. They work great.
If you make another type of pickle using the hot vinegar solution they will be acidic enough to remain at room temperature. Vinegar brined pickles are different from mine in that mine require refrigeration for their entire shelf life.
Play around with the seasoning to find your perfect balance. I like my pickles hot and super garlicky, so I add alot of spice. Whatever you do, do not omit the salt, it is an integral part of this recipe. If you taste your pickles and they taste strange ditch those and start again.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 16 oz.
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Pickling
- Cuisine: Pickles
3 Cucumbers- 6” or less is best
2 Bay leaf
3 Garlic clove
Pinch of fennel seeds
Salt of your choice ( I use french gray salt)
Sterilized mason jar with well fitting lid
The jar and lid must be sterile. You can run them in the dish washer or pour boiling water inside. Once dry, layer 1/4” of salt on the bottom of the jar. Add your spices, then the
cucumbers. You can really jam them into the jar. Add more salt to the top, and fill with filtered water until the top of the jar is full. Seal the lid and keep in the fridge. Enjoy in 2-3 days.
As I eat the pickles ( and they go fast!) I add more cucumbers to the water. I also drink the juice, which is full of tasty pro-biotics. If you need to add more
water, definitely add more salt. Oy, it’s yummy!