Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In a PIckle. . .

We are a pickle loving family. Even our 15 month old loves them. This year we planted pickling cucumbers so I could restock our supply of canned dill pickles. We grew some really beautiful cucumbers that were perfect to make dill pickle spears with. Today I am going to share with you my method and recipe for making dill pickles.

Loosely pack clean cucumbers into clean quart jars, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace. I did pickle spears, but you can also do whole baby cucumbers or slice them into chips.
Into each quart add:
1 tsp. Dill Seed
1 tsp. Mustard Seed
1 to 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic 
This year I also added some Ball Pickle Crisp that Jacob got a great deal on awhile back. I have never used it before, so I will update you on how it works.

Next make a brine by combining:
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Cider Vinegar
1 Tb. Pickling Salt

You may need to increase or decrease the amount of brine you make according to how many quarts you have, but do not change the ratio of ingredients. Bring the brine to a boil.  Slowly pour the hot brine over the cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Clean jar rims and put lids on jars.

Process your pickles in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (or adjust the time according to your altitude).  Remove from heat and allow them to cool for awhile before removing the jars from the canner.

I also made beet pickles this year, which I love. To make beet pickles follow my directions for preparing your beets, found here. Once your beets are in the jars replace the hot water and salt with the same brine you used for your dill pickles. You can then process them in a hot water bath just like your dill pickles. I did mine together in the same batch.

I did 11 quarts of dill pickles and 4 quarts of beet pickles, yum!

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