Monday, August 03, 2009

Cucumbers & Pickles Everywhere

A.R. and I picked about 25 cucumbers out of our garden over the past week and after giving some away to my boss and his mom I decided to take a stab at making pickles and canning some cucumbers to eat, gift, and store. I ended up making a dozen jars of dill pickles and 5 jars of sweet pickles.
The recipe for the sweet pickles is courtesy of a fellow blogger, Crystal Cooks. I must've gone to a half dozen grocery stores in search of pickling salt and pickle seasoning before I finally found one of the two ingredients. I came home to discover that they were indeed two different ingredients while I already had the brine boiling for the sweet pickles. So, I enlisted my good friend Google and found the ingredients in pickle seasoning online and then randomly added them to the pot hoping it turned out okay. A.R. and I taste tested a few of the pickles before canning and they actually tasted pretty good, but we'll see how good they taste in a few weeks! Next time I think I'll order the pickling seasoning on-line instead of just winging it. I also discovered you have to cut the cucumbers wide enough when you use a recipe that boils them in the brine before canning or they kind of separate and disintegrate a bit in the brine.

I found the dill pickle recipe on-line at and it came highly recommended by other cooks on the site.


8 pounds 3 to 4-inch long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
10 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 heads fresh dill weed
8 sprigs fresh dill weed

1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

The pickles smelled delishous before as I was canning them, so I hope they taste just as good in 8 weeks!


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