Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Home grown-home canned, Dill pickles

We are growing cucumbers in our garden this year and when we got to the point that our entire kitchen was being taken over we decided that it was time to do something other than eat them for every meal. We just couldn't keep up. Do you grow cucmbers? I had no idea, they grow like zucchini and they get BIG F.A.S.T!!!!

Anyway, I'm not a big canner. I love to do my own jam but other than that, the few extra bucks in the store is so worth it to me.

However, when You have 900 cucumbers sitting on the counter (because you can't fit anymore in the fridge), you try your hand at some things :)

I am here to tell you today. I made my own pickles. 7 big ol' jars of them and they are DELICIOUS! I found the recipe online so here is the original link.

7 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings ( I did some wide mouth and some some not and trust me on this one, wide mouth is easier!)
fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs (or dried, just convert correctly!)
cucumber, washed, scrubbed
1 garlic clove (or more)


8 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt (Table salt works as a substitute for pickling salt if you don't have any)
Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.
Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.
In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.
If using whole cucumbers, wash well. If using spears, cut cucumbers into spears.
Fill jars: place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top--)---squeeze cukes into the jar tightly--uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.
Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.
Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.
Place jars into canner with water JUST to the necks of the jars.
Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes--depending on how fast it heats up).
Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.
Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.

NOTES: When washing/scrubbing cucumbers, sort them into piles by size. This really helps make your jars look nicer, if you have uniform sizes. And makes for easier packing, too.
**Because of my slight aversion to canning I don't actually own a canning kettle. I filled a stock pot half full instead and brought that to a boil. Follow directions exactly as they say, just as if you did have a canner, it works, promise!

These were so yummy! Thanks for stopping by!

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