Grandma’s Dill Pickles

pickles 2Ever tasted a homemade dill pickle? If not, BOY are you missing out. We like store bought pickles in our house, but we LOVE homemade pickles! No lie…a jar of Grandma’s pickles will only last about a week in our fridge; where the store bought jars could be in there a month or two (they really just don’t taste near as good).

I canned my very own batch of pickles for the first time about 5 months ago. They’ve been slowly fermenting in my pantry, staring me in the face. I dare not open them just yet…I want to wait until their flavor is juuuuuussst right! I can’t get my mind off those jars…so I thought I’d write about how I made them instead. :)

My grandma is the #1 expert on canning foods! She knows her stuff. Over 70 years of age, Grandma is a very active member of her community. She volunteers in church activities all the time, goes to exercise classes, takes care of her neighbors, raises 1-2 beef cows a year, and still finds time to plant and care for an immaculate garden every summer. I hope I’m that sassy and spunky when I’m her age!!

Grandma says the key to the best pickles you’ve ever tasted is time. The longer they sit in those jars, the better they will taste. So…I’m leavin mine sit awhile longer. We’ll see how long I make it before I snap. 😉

Grandma doesn’t consider this an old family recipe. It’s very easy and very quick. I had my pickles fully canned in WAY under an hour.

Before you start you’ll want to:

1. Get your water bath on to boil…it takes forever!

2. Soak your cucumbers in ice water for 20-30 minutes…I hear this helps them have a nice crunch.pickles 1

What you’ll need:

  • 4-5 quart jars
  • garlic cloves (one for each jar)
  • 4-5 heads of fresh dill
  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Oh and cucumbers of course

*optional: If you’d like to make Grandma’s Spicy Dill’s throw in a dried hot chili pepper (the red ones).

I put all my spices in my jars first, a head of dill and a clove of garlic for each jar. If you’re making spicy, throw in a hot pepper for each jar as well.

Place your cucumbers in the jars. Fit in as many as you can, but don’t cram them in there. If they are bigguns, cut them in half lengthwise or turn them into “hamburger chips.”

In a seperate container combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour into your jars, leaving at least half an inch at the top. Make sure all of your cucumbers and spices are covered by the liquid. Wipe down your jars with a damp cloth.

Heat up the lids for your jars in boiling water for about 5 minutes. This will make the rubbery band on the inside expand nicely; which eventually will ensure that your jars will seal nicely. Remove from the water and place on the jars. Screw on the ring caps…nice and tight.

Place the jars in your water bath. Make sure the water covers the jars completely. Let those puppies bathe for 5 minutes. Pull them out. Then let them cool and seal on the counter. Make sure you hear each one of them seal. Annnnd you’re done!

Store them in a cool dry place for at least 6 months (shake them if you think about it) for optimal flavor.

See…quick and easy!

Ginny

 

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