Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Homemade Dill Pickles

I grew up in a home where we canned everything. I wasn't always a fan of the process, but I am a fan of the results. My FAVORITE thing to can, is Pickles. Yup, I know I can go pick up a jar of kosher dills at the supermarket, but if you have ever tried home canned Dill pickles, you will never buy store bought pickles again!
Here is what you need:

Pickling Cucumbers
Fresh Peeled Garlic
Pickling Salt

Pickling Cukes are different from regular cucumbers. Check your local fruit stand or farmers market to find them. They are smaller, and have thinner skin than regular cucumbers.
Scrub those cucumbers really good.

Mix up the Brine and get it boiling while you clean your cucumbers. The recipe is:
12 Tbs pickling salt
3 Cups Vinegar
8 Cups Water
(this will fill about 6 quarts, and you need about 1 lug of cucumbers or 1/4 a bushel for 6 quarts)
Once all your cucumbers are nice and clean, fill each jar with 1 sprig of dill (they look kinda creepy... like spiders) and 1 clove of peeled garlic. I like to buy the pre-peeled garlic at costco. You can used Fresh or Dried Dill. Fresh is easier to work with.
Then stuff those Jars. Its like a puzzle trying to fit them in. I like to use WIDE MOUTH jars, it is easier to fit the cucumbers in them. Make sure that they aren't sticking out the top at all or your lids wont seal.
Then pour in the brine, and put the lids on. I don't boil the lids since I will be processing them.
Process the pickles for 15 min. (Processing means to put them in hot water, bring it to a boil, then set the timer for 15 min.)
Carefully remove the jars to cool on a towel, then store them. They will be ready to eat in about 3 months! YUM!
We paid 10.00 for 1/2 a bushel, and that made 11 quarts. With the dill, and other ingredients it ended up being about 1.50 a jar. Cheaper than the store, and they taste better! For 1/2 a bushel we doubled the brine recipe.

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