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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dill-icious Pickles

I love pickles. 
Not just any pickles though, I admit it... I am a pickle snob. 
I was raised on the homegrown do it your-self canned kind.
I think my kids are picking up on this too.


 Maybe some day I will grow my own dill, but for now I just buy it at the store.


Not to brag, but most people RAVE over these pickles and how good they are.  If only they knew how easy they are to make.  The only hard part is being patient for them to "pickle" for several months before eating them.  I actually had an older lady (who I won't name) tell me they are better than sex.  So funny. 


Dill Pickles
Pickling cucumbers
1 Quart White Vinegar
1 Cup Salt (not iodized)
1/4 Tea. Alum
Dill Weed
Water

Things You Will Need-
Large Pot or Canning/ water bath pot
Jars (wide mouth quarts work best), flats and rings: Make sure the jars are washed & clean- ready to go.
can lifter - not sure on the technical name, but that's what I call it. Sort of like tongs, but fits the jar.
something to scoop and pour the pickle solution
a funnel is helpful also

What to do:
Wash your cucumbers and sort them out how you want to do them.  Most people like the small ones best.  Sometimes if the cucumbers are bigger I will slice them into spears (long ways) or in "chips" about 1/4" thick.

Fill your jars with the dill breaking it up into small pieces so you can fit lots of cucumbers in to.

Then start stuffing the cucumbers in the jars, you may need to use a skinny spatula to help schooch things around and make it all fit.  For a spicy twist you can throw in Pearl onions, garlic, and assorted peppers.  Sometimes we throw in green beans a.k.a. "dilly beans"  I usually only do a few quarts this way.

 Fill your large pot with HOT water and set it on the stove so it can work it's way up to a boil while you're getting every.

Measure your 3 quarts of HOT water, 1 quart vinegar, 1 cup salt and 1/4 tea spoon alum and bring that to a boil.  NOTE: Depending on how many quarts you are doing you may have to make more, or you could have left-over.

In a small sauce pan add hot water and your flats.  I flip some right side up and some down, in hope's that they don't stick to each other quite so easy.  Set it on a medium-low heat. 

Once you've boiled the solution carefully fill the jars leaving about 1/2" (this is where the funnel comes into play).  Wipe off the rims and place the flats.  Screw the lids on and put them into the hot water bath to boil for 25 minutes.


 The pickles having a "hot water bath".

When they are done you will lift them out and put them somewhere they can cool off.  You will start to hear the lids "pop".  After they've cooled I wipe them down with a clean rag and label/date them.
Then you can put them in your pantry or food storage for a good 4 months to "pickle". 

After you've opened a can you will want to keep it in the fridge.

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