Garlic Dill Pickles
One of the many advantages of growing your own produce is being able to get the size of cucumbers you want to pickle, whether you love tiny sweet pickles, or sliced pickles, or anything in between. Making pickles is super easy!
Ingredients for 8 quarts (wide-mouth type):
6 cups white vinegar
6 cups water
½ cup “canning and pickling” salt
garlic cloves, peeled
whole black peppercorns
fresh dill, cut into seed heads with a small length of stem attached
grape leaves, large, rinsed with water
- Go to the cucumber bed every two days and pick a variety of sizes, but not the tiny ones—leave them to grow—and not those over 5” long. (They can be used in a salad.) Save your cucumbers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator each day. Do this for a week, and if you have about eight vines, you should be able to make 6 to 8 quart jars of pickles.
- Wash the cucumbers well in a cool water bath, and cut off any stem remaining. Sort them roughly into small, medium, and large cucumbers.
- Wash jars in warm, soapy water; rinse and allow to drain. They don’t need to be completely dry.
- Pack jars with large cucumbers first, then fill in spaces with smaller ones. Pack them tightly.
- In each jar, put 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp peppercorns, and fresh dill stems in as many spaces as you can stuff it. I sometimes use a chopstick to push it down into the jar.
- Now you know how much brine to make. Put the vinegar, water, and salt in a large kettle. Heat the brine until the salt is dissolved. (For six jars, use 4 ½ cups white vinegar, 4 ½ cups water, and 6 T salt.)
- Using a ladle, pour brine into each jar to within a half inch from the top of the jar—I usually pour it to where the jar ends and the top begins. It helps to have a wide-mouth funnel on hand for this job.
- Fold one grape leaf and place it on top of everything. The grape leaf has tannins in it and will make your pickles crisp.
- With a clean, damp cloth, wipe the top of the jar rim so it is free of particles.
- Place a new canning lid on top, and screw on the ring until it is snug, but not tight.
- Place your lovely jars on a shelf and admire your handiwork! Leave them there for a couple of months or so and enjoy them starting in the fall. They will keep for a long time.
Questions about pickling? Contact Sherry by email.