This is the time of year when I am frantically scurrying around to try to preserve as much fresh food as I can for the winter. Buying really good food is expensive nowadays, and I’ve read enough about the nutritional value of organically grown foods versus conventionally grown food that I try to put up as much food as I can.
Right now, the cucumbers are beginning to come in.
Oddly, no one in our family likes cucumbers fresh. Not even a little.
However, they do adore pickles. And, more specifically, they adore MY pickles. Strangely, I don’t care for pickles in any form. But I like to feed my family, so I’ve learned to make pickles for them. By the way, only dill pickles will do. Sweet pickles are unacceptable to my crew.
Here’s my recipe for dill pickles. This recipe is a favorite because I can scale it depending upon the number of cukes that are ready in the garden.
For every quart, you’ll need:
1/2 pound pickling cucumbers (Only pickling cukes make good pickles. Slicers make soggy pickles.)
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon dill seed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon pickle-crisp granules, optional
Scrub your cukes and cut off the blossom ends. In a large pot, mix the water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil.
Fill hot, clean jars with cucumbers. Pour boiling water-vinegar over them, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Add dill, garlic, and pickle crisp. Cap jars and tighten bands.
Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Remove them to a clean dish towel and let them cool.
Check lids for seals. Let them sit for about a week before eating them so that the flavors will have a chance to blend.
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