Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home Made Dill Pickles

One of the things I like to do is make my own pickles, jams and such. Two of my favourites are home made dills and pickled onions. While I don't have my pickled onion recipe here just now (think I lent it to someone) here is my version of dill pickles.

  • 36 - 40 pickling cucumbers (3 - 3 1/2 inches in length)

  • 7 1/2 cups of water

  • 5 cups of vinegar (5 to 6% acidity)

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. pickling salt

  • 12 heads off a dill plant

  • ice (the more ice the better)

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly.What I do here now is to put the cucumbers in a large picnic cooler, cover them with cold water and throw as much ice on top as I can (helps to keep the cucumbers from going mushy from the heat of the pickling brine).

Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil (it's better if you can use a stainless steel pot for this as an aluminum pot can react with the vinegar and salt and leave a really lousy tasting pickle).

Sterilize 6 quart jars. Place 1 piece of the dill into each of the jars.Pack as many cucumbers as you can into each jar leaving at least 1/2 inch head space.Place another piece of the dill in each jar, fill with the brine, put lids on and seal in bath (people who regularly make preserves and pickles should know how to do this.If you don't, time to do some looking on the net)

Once the jars are sealed tight, place in a dark, cool spot for at the least 6 weeks.The longer they sit the better they will taste.

NOTE - If you prefer garlic dills, you just add 2 garlic cloves to each jar.Plus for added dill flavour, when you take the buds off the tops of the dill, break up the stalks and add it to the pickling brine as you heat it up. The taste of the dill will be added to the brine. Just "don't" forget to remove the stalks before adding the brine to the jars.

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