Dill Pickles!

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I have been wanting to make real pickles for a long time now. They are up there with the last bastion of homemade things that I thought I could never make. Even though I have pickled onions and cucumbers in the refrigerator using vinegar, this time I went the old-fashioned way – no vinegar – if that is really considered the old-fashioned way.

It took three tries but this recipe has now worked perfectly several times. There is a whole lot of science behind the pickling madness so feel free to read up on it. People sometimes have issues with “scum” forming at the top of the jar. I have not had that happen yet but if that does happen, just skim it off. Also, there are different spices you can use to jazz pickles up. They even make special spice blends. But in the end, this is my basic easy pickle recipe and remember, if I can do this so can you!

Note: These are not “officially canned” pickles. So that means they should be eaten soon. Also, the water may turn a little cloudy. Don’t worry, that is just from the fresh dill.

1 32 oz. wide-mouth sterilized glass canning jar
6 to 7 Persian/Kirby cucumbers
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
Dill, fresh, a big bunch, 8 to 10 sprigs
1 big clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

Add the salt to the water and mix well, allowing the salt to dissolve. Set aside.

Cut the ends of the cukes off and set them aside. Then cut them into spears. That works well for Kirbys. For cukes out of the garden, chips are a nice shape. Save the ends.

Place a few dill sprigs at the bottom of the jar and drop the garlic clove and mustard seeds in. Then, place the spears into the jar and pack them in as tightly as possible (but space is not a deal breaker.)

Top it off with the cut ends of the cukes and if they fall into any spaces that is fine. Then, add the rest of the dill on the top to help take up space in the jar.

Pour the salted water over the cukes and lightly twist the top closed. Leave on the counter in the kitchen.

After three days, check the pickles. They will definitely look and smell like dill pickles so you can stop the process now and place them in the refrigerator. I have waited up to two more days before they were pickle-y enough for me. And when my son said, “we have pickles!” I knew they were done. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy at will!

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