Pickle Time

First installment for Harvest week is one of  my most steadfast traditions: Crispy Dill Pickles.

I love pickles. Not as much as I love tomatoes, no sir, but pretty close. I think I have some sort of acid deficiency or something because I could eat anything with that much vinegar 24/7.

The last week in August I found myself out in Carnation near Remlinger Farms so I decided to pick up some pickling cukes (try saying that 5 times fast) for the season. Sadly, due to the cold summer, our cucumber plants are hardly producing at all,  so it was necessary to buy some supplementary cucumbers to keep our pickle stash up through the winter and next spring.

I’m not going to walk step by step through the process, because there are already a lot of resources out there for that.  I’ll just share the recipe I used and the  photos of what our house looks like when its invaded by 18 pounds of little green goodness.


Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles

Recipe from Frontier Co-op

17 to 18 pounds cucumbers, 3 to 5 inches in length
2  gallons 5 percent brine (3/4 cup salt per gallon water)
6 cups vinegar
3/4 cup salt
9 cups water
2 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice
2 teaspoons mustard seeds per jar
1  garlic clove per jar
1 tablespoon dill seeds per jar
Wash cucumbers thoroughly, scrub with vegetable brush, and drain. Cover with brine. Let set overnight. Drain.
[Side note: I think its a good idea to sort them by size, so that when you go to pack the quarts you get a more even, and thus more efficient pack. Call me crazy ;)]
Combine vinegar, salt, water, and mixed pickling spices. (Tie spices in a clean, white cloth bag or spice ball.)

Heat to boiling. Pack cucumbers in hot, sterilized quart jars. Add mustard seed, garlic, and dill to each jar. Cover with boiling liquid to within 1/4 inch of top of jar. Adjust seals and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

All in all, a great way to spend a late summer afternoon.

[Side note: I had about one jar extra that I didn’t have a lid to can with, so I just poured the brine over and tossed in the fridge to make quick “refrigerator pickles”. Delish, just as good as the canned version!]

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