Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Pickle forks - what and how?

Pickles are a delicacy that is made and liked in almost all the parts of the world. Pickles are made from a variety of fruits and vegetables such as raw mango, lime, tamarind, cucumber etc. These pickles are stored in large glass jars until they are ready to eat. Pickles are good snacks as well as appetizers.

Pickle fork is a fork with a long handle that is used to remove pickle from a large jar. It serves a very good purpose as the pickles are stored in large glass and picking up the pickles by hand is almost impossible. The pickle fork is also used for serving pickles. It is generally has two or three prongs. It is bigger than a seafood fork yet smaller than a dinner fork.

A pickle fork allows us to easily and hygienically remove pickles from the jar. The forks neither enable the users to extract the pickles without getting their hands wet with the brine nor do they allow any contamination of the other contents. Earlier people tried to use regular forks to extract the pickles from the jar. But it was not a good method as the pickles are slippery and smooth on the inside and generally slip off the regular fork. Hence the method was abandoned although a few improvements were tried to be made with these forks.

There are some specific methods to hold pickles by the pickle fork. The first one is as follows. The prongs of the pickle fork should be made to face the outside of the pickle on its sides. This creates an upward slope and enables proper and firm holding of the pickle on the fork. The pickle has no scope to fall off. This is the case with 2 pronged forks. With the 3 pronged forks, the middle prong remains taut and hence it is possible for the pickle to firmly stick to the fork.

The second method is to add hooks to the fork. It works just like a fish hook or bait. The pickle is secured firmly in place and thus can be extracted very easily. The fork otherwise just works like the earlier method that is the two pronged one faces on the outside edge of the pickle and in case of 3 pronged fork, the middle prong remains straight thus securing the pickle in place.

In any of the above mentioned methods, the pickles can be removed from the fork by shaking the fork a bit or placing it against the upper edge of a plate. However it is recommended that pickle should not be eaten directly off the fork. The pickle fork is used only for serving and not otherwise. It should be eaten only with hands and may be put inside a sandwich or a hamburger.

Pickle fork is a term that is used in automobile industry even. In industry it is used for separating the tie rods, ball joints, and many other parts which are secured tightly in position by friction around the shaft. The fork used looks more like a tuning fork rather than a pickle fork. Thus, it can be seen that pickle forks are used in some of the most important fields that is, food and industry.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Dill pickles

Dill pickles are considered to be a kind of delicacy in America. It is served as a snack or an appetizer. Dill pickle recipe is quite easy to follow. The ingredients required for making dill pickles are as follows;

1. 3 to 4 kilo grams moderate sized cucumbers (about 10 cm long)
2. 4 cups white vinegar used for pickling
3. 12 cups water
4. 2 small sized hot peppers (may be dried or fresh ones)
5. 2/3 cup salt used for pickling (Take care that the salt is coarse)
6. 16 garlic pieces (peeled and cut in halves)
7. 8 stems of fresh weeds of dill
8. 8 heads of fresh weeds of dill

The dill pickle recipe is as follows;

1. Wash cucumbers well. Remove the ends of the cucumbers which may have dirt in them. Place these washed cucumbers in a tub or a sink full of cold water with ice cubes. Soak them in this cold water for about 2 hours and not more than that. Change the ice cubes as frequently as required.

2. Mix vinegar, water, peppers and the salt used for pickling in a large pot. Stir the mixture well. Place this pot on a medium flame. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil.

3. Sterilize the jars in which the pickles are to be stored. For sterilization, place the jars and their lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes. The sterilization is done to avoid contamination and ensuring longer life of the pickles.

4. In each jar, put 2 half cut cloves of garlic, one head of dill, and then required cucumbers so that the jar is filled. After placing the cucumbers, place 2 more half cut garlic cloves, 1 fresh sprig of dill.

5. After adding all the ingredients, put the hot mixture removed from the flame in the jars slowly. Seal the jars by tightly placing the lids. The rims of the lids should also be cleaned to remove any dirt or residues.

6. Place the lidded jars in boiling water tub or a water bath. Let the jars boil for about 15 minutes.

7. The pickles must be stored for at least 2 months (8 weeks) before consuming. After the storing period ends, the pickles must be refrigerated.

8. Place the pickles in cool and dry place so that they last longer, generally up to 2 years.
The shelf life of the dill pickles is at least 1 ½ to 2 years. The dill pickles can be eaten directly or with some main course dishes. Dill pickles are very tasty to eat. Dill pickle recipe is easy and can be done at home. However, it does take a long time to get ready to consume. But the wait is worth while.

Read more about pickles at these sites:

dill pickles
fried pickles recipe
pickle recipes here
dill pickle recipe
fried pickles recipe
how to make pickles