It’s a day to celebrate. A day to rejoice. A day to slick the sweat off your brow and smile because it’s here, it’s time. It’s the day the first kirby cucumbers arrive at the farmer’s market, or, if you’re lucky, begin to grow behind beautiful yellow blossoms in your backyard. It is, for me, the happiest day of the year.
If you have to ask why, you probably have never had a good kirby — or any kirby at all. You might even be asking: what the hell is a kirby? Fear not, I’m here to show you the way. What they are: pickling cucumbers; small, slightly sweet, crunchy. What they’re not: gigantic, waxy, seedy, watery. Kirbies are perfect peeled, sliced, and salted, especially before they hit the fridge and still taste of summer sun. They’re also perfect as these amazing refrigerator pickles.
The last time I made pizza dough, on a whim, I decided to weigh my liquid ingredients like I do with my flours when I’m baking anything bread-like. My doughs have been incredibly wet as of late — so much so that they’ve been frustratingly difficult to work with. I set my 4-cup liquid measuring cup atop my scale, zeroed it so that the cup would now essentially be part of the scale and thus not weighed, and poured water until the number reached 625 grams, as per the metric weight listed in the recipe. Lo and behold, the water, which should have measured 2 ¾ cups if I had measured by volume, only reached the 2 ⅔ line, and just barely. I measured my olive oil in the same way, using my one-cup liquid measuring cup, and the results were different: that mark was spot on. It was my 4-cup measuring cup that was giving me problems. Continue reading →