Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dill Pickles

It's pickling time again!  I have a love-hate relationship with canning since we don't have air conditioning and somehow it is always time to can on the hottest possible day of the year.  That said, I love it all winter when we can eat the local produce I canned during the summer for just pennies of the cost of store bought.  And I know there aren't any rat whiskers, mouse droppings or other disgusting things in my canned goods.

Last year my pickles were so spicy that hardly anyone could eat them...a few too many hot peppers in the mix, so this year I just made basic garlic dills.  I learned a new trick this year and can't wait to see if it really works.  Supposedly if you add grape leaves to the jar it keeps the pickles crunchy.  I had good success last year by soaking the pickles in cold saltwater for a day before canning them. 

I had 9 pounds of pickling cucumbers and this recipe made 10 quarts.  Use the wide mouth works best for fitting the most pickles in a jar.  You'll be surprised how few fit in a jar.  These have only 5 per jar.
I adapted this recipe I found through a google search and adjusted the amounts because I had nine pounds of pickles rather than seven.

9 pounds pickling cucumbers
10 grape leaves
50 peppercorns
30 cloves garlic
1 large bunch dill heads split equally between jars
1.1 oz pickling salt
10 cups distilled water
9 1/3 cups white vinegar

Next up....pickled watermelon!

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