Cooking on a Boat: Making Pickles

23 04 2013

For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that I am not much of a cook. I don’t find pleasure in baking a cake or cooking a meal from scratch. However, I do love great food. I love to eat great food….so I basically forced myself to learn how to cook so I could eat yummy food. Living on a boat adds a whole new element to cooking and baking. My powerful propane stove and oven has two temperatures: hot and hotter. I started using cookware that I had never heard of before (what is a pressure cooker anyway?) I even became quite proficient in kneading bread (and even have Capt’n in Training participate). 

Well one of the most frustrating things about food and boat life is the actual food shopping.  If we need to go shopping and we are at a port, I cannot be picky as to where I can purchase my food. I can’t bargain shop, cut coupons, go to my local Trader Joes, etc…I am also limited to the brands that I can buy. As someone who does not like to eat any foods with preservatives, I am sometimes stuck between three options: eat the food with preservatives, don’t eat that particular food, or make my own. Which leads me to day’s blog topic: making pickles.

I love dill pickles. But most of the dill pickles in the grocery stores have preservatives. So one day I decided that I would try to make my own. I was pleased at how easy it was to make and how yummy they tasted. The other great thing is that you don’t need any sort of canning equipment, so I was able to make them from the confines of my small boat galley. Now I can’t remember where I put my recipe, so measurements may not be exact – you will have to play around with it.



Fresh pickling cucumbers, washed and free from blemishes

3 cups of water (purified or bottled water is best)

1/2 teaspoon (maybe more?) of non iodized salt. The only non iodized salt I had on hand was Trader Joes Pink Himalayan Salt. 

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 Tablespoon fresh dill, diced

sprinkle of chili flakes

Mason jar or used (but clean) sauce container




1. Wash and clean pickling cucumbers. I used three cucumbers and they filled the container I used. Make sure you remove the blemishes if there are any.

Image2. Slice cucumbers however you want. I made spears and had great texture.

3. Boil water and add salt.

Image4. Dice dill and garlic.

Image5. Place cucumbers, garlic, dill (and chili flakes for spice) in your glass jar. After water boiled and has cooled, pour water and salt solution into glass jar. Tighten jar and put in fridge for one week.