I'm not quite sure what has happened to me this year. Maybe it's the fact that I can't spend much time pulling weeds or painting or vacuuming (not that I want to do THAT) because of the wrist surgery two weeks ago. Maybe it's the fact that my garden looks like this (below) and I'm having to deal with tons of produce.
|oops, fuzzy picture, sorry|
I MADE PICKLES! Me. Someone who doesn't eat dill pickles. Someone who fears homemade products for fear of botulism. But I did it. Yesterday. And it was easy. So easy. And hubby was overjoyed with the thought of biting into one of these (huge) beauties. Why have I not done this before?
First step was to gather all the ingredients - right, that should be tough. Cucumbers, dill, garlic, vinegar and salt. Mixed together these make the most luscious and ancient of treats - garlicky, crispy, vinegar sour dills to sit alongside a manly sandwich.
|my "stash" of jams, jellies and now dill pickles|
Haven't made pickles before? Don't be shy. This girl is a convert - also made bread and butter pickles (THOSE I WILL EAT!!) and am tackling pickled beets next week (fresh from the garden). Here's the simple recipe for dill pickles....
4 lb of small cucumbers (3-4")
sprays of fresh dill
garlic cloves, peeled
6 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup pickling salt (find it in the salt section of your supermarket)
Wash the cucumbers well. Place spray of dill and garlic clove in the bottom of each hot sterilized jar. Pack cucumbers into jars and top with another spray of dill and more garlic (the more garlic the better in my opinion).
Meanwhile in a large saucepan, heat the water, vinegar and salt to boiling. Pour the hot vinegar over the cucumbers leaving about 1/8 inch space at the top of the jar. Seal immediately. Store in a cool, dry, dark place like a cold storage room or a pantry for 4 to 6 weeks (just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving in October).
If you don't have enough liquid to fill all your jars, just make another batch. It's pretty flexible that way.
Note: to sterilize the jars either wash through a dishwasher or heat in a slow oven for 10-15 minutes (about 200 degrees). Submerge the lids in very hot water and leave them there till ready to use - that way the rubber seal will become pliable and seal easily.