I’m kind of a Big Dill

So as you guys know, this year we created our very first Garden and in that garden we have a row of cucumbers that are growing beautifully. We’ve had an abundance of cucumbers and were racking our brains as to what to do with them and then we thought PICKLES!!! Those green, delicious things you put on top of a burger or on the side of a sandwich. The sour yet savory little treat that you indulge in while pregnant. (Pickles and Ice Cream?) Everyone loves pickles, right? For you Jersey Shore fans, we all know Snookie loves her pickles! Lol.

My husband and I love and prefer a dill pickle so that’s what we have attempted here. We have dill and spicy dill in the pantry pickling at the moment. This is our first attempt at making them so hopefully it is successful. If they come out good, my friends and family will be receiving a jar of our homemade dill spears and chips. Since we’ve never made pickles before we found our recipes online so I will share with you the exact recipe that we used and any changes that we made to it on the bottom. Happy Pickling!!! IMG_6215 IMG_6216

Spicy Dill Pickles

Ingredients
24 pickling cucumbers (kirbys), each between 3 and 4-inches long
6 small bunches fresh dill
1 small yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 dried small red chili peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 cups water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions
Place the cucumbers in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Sterilize 6 pint-sized jars and 6 lids in a hot water bath according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Divide the dill, onions, garlic, peppers and peppercorns among the jars. Drain the cucumbers and tightly pack into the jars. Bring a large pot or canner of water to a boil. In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers, leaving a 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Tap the jars on the counter to dispel any air bubbles, cover with lids and rings and seal tightly. Place the jars in the pot or canner of boiling water and process for 15 minutes. Remove carefully with tongs and when cool, store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks before opening. Note: If tap water in your area is hard or high in mineral content, use bottled water to prevent discoloration of pickles. OUR CHANGES: I read many comments on the recipe above and a lot of feedback was that the recipe was salty so I made some adjustments. I used 4.5 cups of water and 4.5 cups of apple cider vinegar. I also added 1 clove of garlic instead of the 2 that the recipe calls for.

Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

7 wide-mouth quart jars, lids & rings
fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems, shaken free of bugs
cucumber, washed and scrubbed
1 garlic clove (or more if you so desire)

Brine
8 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt

Directions:
Before filling the jars, wash the jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water and 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 a boil, turn off the heat and set aside.

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 (squeeze cukes into the jar tightly–uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill and another garlic clove, if desired. Leaving a 1/4 inch headspace at the top of the jar.

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

After 24 hours, check your lids to make sure that they are properly sealed. I can not stress how important it is to have a properly sealed jar. If not sealed correctly bacteria can grow and be very harmful. You can check 3 ways… 1) When you press down on the center of the lid, it shouldn’t pop back up. 2) If you take the back of a spoon and tap the center of the lid it should sound like a “ting” and not a dull thud. 3) If you take the metal screw band of the jar off you should be able to lift the jar off of your table or counter, holding just the lid, without having the metal lid or sealing compound pop off.

If you find that your jar is not properly sealed, you have to completely re-can. Meaning, take all of the ingredients out of the jar, reboil the jar and band, get a new lid (once a lid is used they cannot be re-used) and re-process the filled jar.

For more information about Canning click here

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