DIY Homemade Dill Pickles

Print Friendly

Dill Pickle Pintes
My Chief gardener started bringing lettuce from the garden a couple of weeks ago.  This past week he brought in the first basket full of yellow squash and cucumbers.  Today, I received my second BIG basket of cucumbers.  It is time to start pickling! Last summer our cucumbers caught a nasty bug and died on the vine.  So no pickles for us.  I know, I know I could have actually bought cucumbers and made pickles last year, but that isn’t nearly as fun as growing the produce, picking it, washing it, and canning it.  I digress.

sliced cucumbers
I don’t have one jar of home canned dill pickles in my pantry.  Months ago I opened the last jar, canned in the summer of 2011.  Honestly, they weren’t very good but they were all I had.

Fresh Dill
So, this year I vowed to buy fresh dill and try again to make crispy dill pickles.  Buying fresh dill isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Yesterday I went to the local farmers market bright and early to buy the best choice of dill.  To my surprise I heard from the growers, “we just don’t grow dill.”  Then one grower gave me the name and phone number of the local “dill man.”

Turns out the local “dill man” doesn’t have any dill right now.  Probably won’t have another crop of dill until August.  Ugh, way past my pickling season! Then I received a call from our Aunt Mattie Lou whose sister owns a local truck farm. Voila’ — fresh dill!  I was back in business of making dill pickles today!

Mrs. Wages Pickles

Aunt Mattie also told me her sister only uses Mrs. Wages seasonings and that her pickles turn our wonderful.  I researched several dill pickle recipes and decided to try one batch using Mrs. Wages seasoning and the second batch using minced garlic, fresh dill,  and red pepper flakes. The brine for the second batch was made from vinegar, water and pickling salt.

Chief pickler

The Chief gardener turned Chief slicer and the pickle making was off to a great start. My sous-chef dish-washing mom made up the trio of workers in our busy kitchen!  The family who pickles together …. 🙂

Dill pickles

I will attach two different recipes at the bottom of this post.  But, a couple things I have learned about making pickles.

  • Pickles are a great way to get started canning, they are relatively easy and need only a water-bath method to seal the lids.
  • Soaking the cucumbers in ice water for at least 2 hours before canning helps to crisp them up.
  • Cold-pack the pickles in hot, sterilized jars.
  • Time the water bath precisely from the moment the jars are placed in the boiling water.

Please refer to the website for National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information about safe home canning. Another of my favorite canning sites is Pick Your Own.

Happy Pickling!
Catherine

DIY Homemade Dill Pickles
 
Mrs. Wages pickle seasoning makes for the perfect dill pickle! Adding fresh dill puts these pickles right over the top!
Serves: 7 quarts or 14 pints
Ingredients
  • 10 lbs. pickling cucumbers (about 25 to 35 depending on the size, smaller the better)
  • 3⅓ cups White distilled vinegar
  • 7⅓ cups water
  • 1 package Mrs. Wages Dill Pickles Mix
  • 7 to 10 Fresh dill tops, divided
Instructions
  1. PREPARE and process home canning jars and lids according to safe canning practices.
  2. WASH cucumbers and remove blossoms; drain. Slice into ¼" slices. Place in ice water bath for up to 2 hours.
  3. COMBINE dill mix, vinegar, and water into a large non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture dissolves.
  4. PACK cucumbers and ½ piece fresh dill top into sterilized jars, leaving ½" of headspace. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving ½" of headspace. Remove air bubbles and cap each jar as it is filled. If more liquid is needed for proper headspace, add a mix of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
  5. PROCESS pints for 5 minutes, quarts for 10 minutes, in a boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to safe canning practices.
  6. Product is ready to eat after 24 hours, but waiting several weeks will enhance the flavor and crispness.
Notes
If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within 2 weeks.

Please refer to the website for National Center for Home Food Preservation for additional information about safe home canning. Another of my favorite canning sites is Pick Your Own.org

http://nchfp.uga.edu/
http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm
DIY Homemade Dill Pickles
 
Pickles are easy to make and delicious to eat -- especially when you make them yourself.
Serves: 4 pints
Ingredients
  • 16 - 4" long cucumbers, sliced into ¼" slices*
  • 12 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 heads fresh dill with stems
  • 2 hot red peppers or 1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
Brine
  • 2½ cups white vinegar
  • 2½ cups water
  • ¼ cup pickling salt
Instructions
  1. PREPARE and process home canning jars and lids according to safe canning practices.
  2. Chill clean cucumbers in the refrigerator overnight, if possible. Remove, slice into ¼" slices and place in large pan of iced water. Leave for about 2 hours, replacing ice as necessary.
  3. Make the brine: Mix vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a stainless steel saucepan (not aluminum) and heat to boiling point.
  4. Pack the chilled cucumbers into 4 hot sterilized jars. To each pint, add 3 whole peeled cloves of garlic, 1 head of dill, and ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes.
  5. Pour hot brine over the cucumbers in the jars. Leave ½" space at the top. Seal and place in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Mark the time as soon as you put the jars in the boiling water. Boil for only 5 minutes, leaving the jars in the boiling water bath any longer will soften the pickles.
  6. Store processed pickles for several weeks before using.
Notes
If jars do not seal, store in refrigerator and eat within a couple weeks.

Please refer to the website for National Center for Home Food Preservation for additional information about safe home canning. Another of my favorite canning sites is Pick Your Own.org

http://nchfp.uga.edu/
http://pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

I'd love to hear from you ~ Comments welcome!