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Monday, October 6, 2008

Dill Pickles-- A Victorious Review

Remember when Young One convinced me, on Meet Your Teacher Day no less, to make homemade dill pickles? Well, I promised that if they were a successful endeavor that I would share the recipe.
I think I've been wary to try making them since trying a bad batch that my mom made. Her pickles didn't stay crisp one time she canned them. I thought, for sure, that they were more difficult to make than they were.

Mine are wonderful! And really so very easy. The author of the recipe recommends letting them sit 8 weeks before sampling, but we could only stand to wait 4 weeks. They taste like Milwaukee Dills or Gedney Baby Dills. Yum! And pickles are a zero Point food!

There really is something very satisfying about canning. It's thrifty, that's for sure, but what I love best about it is looking at those rows of jars when your job is done. They're so beautiful (oh, bear with me!) and it looks like you just did something very homey and old fashioned for your family. I hope I get the chance to do some more this fall!

Dilled Green Beans is another great recipe to can. Delicious pickled green beans are a great treat to put on your relish trays during the holidays. I bet you could just sub whole green beans in the recipe below and they'd be delicious. Process time would be less.

Give it a try, this recipe is fool proof. Don't skip a step. I found it on All Recipes and want to give credit where it is due. Thank you Sharon Howard. You're brilliant.

Delicious Dill Pickles
"This recipe for Kosher style dills was given to me 25 years ago by a farmers wife who grew cucumbers and it has never let me down. The two things I have found critical to crisp dill pickles are soaking the cukes in ice water for at least 2 hours and ensuring the brine is at a full boil when poured over the dills."

8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long
pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and
8 sprigs fresh dill weed (a small little section of dill, not a whole head)
8 heads fresh dill weed (a big whole, top of the dill plant)

Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes. NO LONGER than that! Jars will snap sealed as they cool if they don't in the water bath.

Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

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