Friday, March 24, 2017
   
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July is Ogorki Season

The smell of dill pickles is reminiscent of many things, but mostly of old fashion kitchen in July. In places like Poland many often call the time from mid July to mid August the season of Ogorki or ogórki (marinated pickles are called in Polish kiszone ogórki ). But here in southern New Jersey both cucumbers and dill are lush and beautiful . The plants have responded well to the rain and are producing beautiful pickles.

There are probably as many recipes for dill pickles as there are rural housewives. For the most part people did not use any vinegar in the brine, just water and salt, but today many recipes have at least one cup of vinegar to every 10 of water. That this is to compensate for the lack of acid in the city or softened water. First wash the pickles well and then soak them , covered with water (3 gallons of water to one cup of salt) overnight. Drain them and either pack into quart jars or a ceramic crock or bowl. Layer them with a generous amount of dill and garlic. This has to be covered with brine, usually 1 cup of salt to 20 cups of water and 2 cup of vinegar that has been brought to a boil. If this is in a crock be sure everything is covered and then place a glass or china plate over and cover with clean dish cloth.

After 4 days either refrigerate or seal into jars. The pickles put in the he jars should also be covered with brine and then sealed with two part jar lids, and processed for the given time (usually 20-30 minutes in boiling water that covers the jars and allowed to cool and seal. In looking over many recipes in old cookbooks books, one will notice that there are many different, some use vinegar, some don't. Some add onions, others horse radish, some red pepper, some alum, some a peach pit or grape leaf. All of these ideas work, it is a matter of convenience and preference. Just be sure to use lots of dill and garlic.

Recommended reading(s):

Polish CookingThe Best of Polish Cooking by Karen West

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