Making Pickles

For some reason I've gotten into the idea of canning lately. Now I say the idea because I've only really canned on thing so I am not sure it counts as being into canning or just being into the idea of it.

When I started researching this I discovered that a canner is about $200. Well this isn't exactly in our budget, and certainly isn't in our budget if I am just into the idea of it. . . But then, low and behold I discovered that canning things that are high in acid requires only a pot, a lid, some water, and something to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot.

So I made 1 batch of refrigerator pickles and they are pretty darn good. So last week at the farmers market I bought a dozen pickling cucumbers and and planning on canning them today. Junia is the ultimate one that decides when it happens but here's the recipe I am working with.

Garlic Dill Pickles

Makes approximately 8 pints (total yield varies depending on size of cucumbers)

2 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers, sliced into fat coins

4 cups apple cider vinegar

4 cups water

6 tablespoons pickling salt (I just use Kosher salt- I guess pickling salt keeps the brine more clear but we've got kosher salt on hand)

2 garlic cloves per jar (16 total)

a pinch of crushed red pepper per jar

½ teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (4 teaspoons total)

1/2 t dill

Optional: 1 Fresh Sprig of dill

Wash and slice the cucumbers.

In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.

Arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices to each. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You don’t want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight.

Pour the brine into the jar, leaving ½ inch headspace.

Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

When 10 minutes are up, promptly remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on the countertop. When the jars are cool, check the seals (by pushing/tapping on the lid).

Pickles can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

If you want to skip the boiling water process, these pickles are also wonderful as refrigerator pickles. Just pop the jars into the fridge once they’re cool.


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