Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Grandma's Dill Pickles

Growing up, I always looked forward to family functions out at my Grandparents farm (still do).  She always would have a yummy veggie tray loaded with goodies, but I always went for the dill pickles.  To heck with everything else, that stuff was for the birds!  Her pickles were my favorite and still are to this day!  Maybe it's the fact they come straight out of her garden, put into her seasonings, canned in her own kitchen, and kept in her cellar.  Maybe it's because they have just the right amount of dill.  I'm not really sure why, but I love 'em!  So when we planted our own garden this year, we made sure to plant plenty of cucumbers.  As you know our garden hasn't had the best of luck this year, but eventually those cucumbers started to come around (and still are).  I was excited when I had enough to can 3 jars of our own last week, plus 2 jars of spears from D's Grandpa's garden.  We still have to wait another few weeks before we can break into them, but I just had to share the recipe.

Cucumbers - washed and ready to go
1 gallon water, boiling in pot for brine
1 teaspoon Alum (it helps keep it crisp, found in the seasoning section)
1 scant cup Pickling Salt
1 cup Cider Vinegar
Fresh Dill Sprigs
Canning Jars
Large Stock Pot (plus pot to put brine in)

1. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse well.  In large stock pot, fill with hot water and turn on to low-medium heat.  Place clean jars in warm water in the large stock pot to keep them hot until your ready to fill them with cucumbers.  This is how you start any canning process.
2. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil in pot.
3. Add in 1 teaspoon of alum, scant cup of pickling salt, and 1 cup cider vinegar.
4. Put Cucumbers in clean jars with a stem or 2 of dill (depends on how big the stems are)
5. Pour hot brine over pickles up to the rim of the jar, screw lid on tight.
6. Put back into the same large stock pot of water, with the lid to the bottom of the pot. Make sure there is enough water to cover the lids of the jars.
7. Bring water to a boil for 15 minutes.
8. Take jars out, set right side up on a towel and let cool (might be a few hours or more).
9. Once cool, store in a cool place.  They are ready to eat in 3 weeks.

Tips: If you have a jar that doesn't seal properly, you can store it in the refrigerator for 3 weeks and then eat.  If you have a small batch and have brine leftover, you can keep that stored in the refrigerator until you get more pickles.  You can also cut the recipe in half if you don't have a lot of pickles.

This was my very first attempt to can anything, so I was pretty excited, but pretty nervous at the same time.  I cut the recipe in half, which did 3 jars.  I made another 1/2 batch for the last 2 jars.  All of my lids sealed the way they were supposed too, yay!!  I'll let you know in a few weeks how they taste! ;) 

Have you been doing any canning lately?

Let me know if you have any questions!!

Linking up too...
At Home With Haley
It's A Blog Party
The Girl Creative
Today's Creative Blog
The Shabby Creek Cottage
What Allie's Making Now
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