If you have a lot of cucumbers and kids willing to help, spend an afternoon making pickles in your kitchen. Homemade pickles combine crisp cucumbers with the pungent tastes of fresh dill and garlic. The recipe is easy and the steps manageable. Store jars of homemade pickles for snacking and gift-giving.
Things You'll Need
30 to 40 cucumbers
2/3 cup pickling salt
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
24 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 bunches fresh dill
Large enamel pot or crock
Large pot filled with water
Canning jars with lids
Wash cucumbers thoroughly and cut them into spears. Place the cucumbers in a large plastic container and cover with water. Refrigerate for at least two hours, but no longer than four.
Boil jars and lids in a large pot for 10 minutes to sterilize. Place the jars on a cookie sheet covered with a thin dish towel. Leave the lids in hot water.
Put three dill weed springs and two garlic clove halves in the bottom of each jar. Pack each jar with cucumbers. Place two dill weed sprigs and two more halves of garlic on top of the cucumbers.
Combine the water, vinegar and salt in an enamel pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Ladle the boiling brine into each jar, leaving a 1/4 inch at the top of each jar. Gently jiggle each jar to release any air bubbles.
Wipe the top of each jar with a clean damp cloth. Gently screw on the lids and place the jars in a pan of boiling water. Water should cover more than half of the jar. Boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from water and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check to make sure jars are sealed properly and store for up to two years. Pickles can be eaten after eight weeks.
Use okra in place of cucumbers Jars will seal as they cool, they are properly sealed when you can see an indention on lid.
If a jar does not seal, refrigerate the pickles and eat them within three weeks. Boil brine in an enamel or ceramic pot. Brine boiled in a metal pot will become cloudy.