Pickles!

I love all things garlicky and salty, much to the chagrin of my blood pressure.  I could sit and eat an entire jar of pickles.  But not just any pickle will do!  It must be the perfect dill pickle.

As much as I love canning and preserving, I thought I’d give pickling a whirl to see if I could recreate one of my favorite snacks at home.  Mr. R prepped all the cucumbers — hence the lack of photos —  and I canned them.  As far as canning goes, these were pretty straightforward!

Extra-garlic garlic dills

Day 1
8 lbs pickling cucumbers
1 cup pickling salt

Day 2
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon pickling or canning salt
7 cups water
6.5 cups white vinegar
21 cloves garlic, cut into 4 slices each
14 dill heads

Day 1

Scrub the cucumbers gently under running water.  Trim off 1/8 inch from each end and prick all over with a fork

Layer cucumbers in a bowl with salt, making about 4 layers total.  Cover with water and lay a plate on top to weight cukes down.  let stand at room temperature for a least 12 hours and up to 24.

Day 2

Prepare canner and sanitize lids and jars.  Place jars into the canner, fill with water and bring to a boil.

In a colander, drain and rinse cucumbers, and set aside

In a pot, combine water, vinegar and mustard seed.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, keeping liquid hot through the entire process.

Remove one jar at a time from the canner once it is boiling, and add one dill head and about six pieces of garlic.  Stuff in the cucumbers.  Add more dill and garlic.  Pour in the water-vinegar liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Screw on lids and return to the boiling canner, processing for 15 minutes.

Let stand for 24 hours and check seal.  Wait at least a week, preferably a month, before enjoying.

The results?

Not my favorite pickles, to be honest.  There was a hint of sweetness — from where, I don’t know — that I just didn’t like.  But if you like bread and butter pickles, you would like these.  Perhaps the specific variety of cucumber is important in controlling the sugar content.  I’ll try them again sometime!

-R

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