To match a Russian Feast...

Fresh Pickles
Solyonye Ogurtsy
once you try these, you won't go back to store-bought

-  I n g r e d i e n t s  -

Cucumbers - 3 to 4 pounds of the small pickling variety
Water - 6 cups per batch of brine
Salt - Kosher, 4 Tbs per batch of brine
Sweetener - 4 tsp of Agave Syrup  -or-  3 tsp White Sugar per batch of brine
Garlic - Several cloves, to your taste
Bay Leaf - 1 Turkish bay leaf per Quart Jar
Dill - 2 Fresh bunches, 1/2 bunch per Quart

-  T o o l s  -

Knife, Cutting Board, Vegetable Brush, Measuring Cup & Spoons
Medium Sauce Pan with lid, 4 Quart Canning Jars or the equivalent
A brightly colored Serving Dish with a lip to it, Serving Tongs

-  T h e   B i g   P i c t u r e  -

This is your chance to get yourself into a pickle... deliciously.
There can not be an appetizer table without pickles, so people will be counting on you.
It takes at least 4 days for the infusions to occur, so plan accordingly.  But don't do them
so far in advance that they lose their fresh character.  Due to the penchant of Americans
to eat things out of season, if you go to the grocery store, you will find what used to
only come in summer.  These will be plenty of pickles for 20+ people.

- T h e   J a r r i n g -

At least 4 days early, take your Cucumbers and give them a wash and scrub if need be.
Cut off both ends of them and place them whole in the jars.  In a quart jar, put in
a pinch or two of Red Pepper Flakes, 4 whole peeled Garlic cloves,
1 or 2 Turkish Bay Leaves, and a half of a bunch of washed Fresh Dill.

-  T h e     B r i n i n g  -

In a medium sauce pan that is easy to pour from, measure in 6 cups of Water,
4 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt, and your Sweetener.  Cover the pan and bring to a boil.
While the brine is still quite hot, pour it over the cucumbers and spices in the jars.
If it doesn't cover them, the make a little more brine.  Promptly seal the jars.
You do not have to process the jars as if you were canning.  Let the jars cool
slowly and put them in the refrigerator when completely cooled.  Some people
like to leave the jars out overnight and then refrigerate them the next morning.

-  T o   T h e   A p p e t i z e r   T a b l e  -

The morning of the feast, take out your jars of pickles.  Get a nice serving plate ready
that has a lip to it so the pickles won't escape.  Cut them lengthwise into quarters.
Arrange them, and the only garnish you will need are the cloves of garlic.
Now you are ready for the party, don't be late !

Recipe by Andy Zaharoff & Bruce H. Rector

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