I never thought I would get into to pickling, but one year one of Derek’s cousins sent me home from a family gathering with bowls full of pickling cucumbers and his Mom said she would help me pickle them, so there was my introduction to pickling. I learned that pickling is easy! It’s one of the easiest forms of canning that I do. You don’t have to process them or anything. Just throw all the stuff in a jar pour boiling salty vinegar water over them and twist the lids on. Then, you have to wait a few months for them to “dilly” as Diane says. And after those homemade pickles ran out, it killed me to have to buy a jar of Vlasic from the grocery store. So now every year or so, I plant pickling cucumbers and make my own pickles.
Ingredients for pickling fluid:
- 3 quarts water
- 1 quart vinegar
- 1 C pickling salt (has no iodine or preservatives so pickles don’t get discolored and liquid stays clear)
*Put on stove and bring to a good boil. Makes enough to cover 5-6 quarts or cucumbers.
In each quart (I like wide mouth for pickles–the pickles are easier to get out that way) bottle put:
- 1/8 tsp alum
- 1 grape leave (freshly picked from my plant outside this supposedly helps keep the pickles crisp–but Diane says it isn’t mandatory)
- 1 garlic clove- skin removed
- 1 hot chili pepper–I use the dried little red ones
- 1 tsp dill seed
- a small fist full of dried dill weed (you can usually find this in our grocery stores somewhere in the fresh fruit section in a little plastic bag–I have dill that just grows in my year and after it goes to seed and dries out I just cut some of that off and put fistfuls in)
- Put above things in each quart jar.
- Cut pickling cucumbers as desired (spears, slices, whole–I usually put a variety of each in every jar).
- Once jars full, cover contents with pickling fluid.
- Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean damp cloth. Then, place lids (I usually boil mine for a minute so they are good and hot) and screw rings on tight.
- Leave until sealed. You can tell they are sealed because the little metal bubble on the top of the lid will pull down. If they don’t seal keep in the fridge and use those first.
- Then you gotta let them sit on the shelf for at least 3 months to “dilly”. Enjoy!