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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Getting Pickled

Thought I would share my recipe for making pickles. My mom used to make pickles but they always were salty. I have taken her recipe and modified it over the past few years. I like what I have come up with and so do my pickle eaters.
You start with about 8lbs of small pickling cucumbers.
We don't spray our gardens with anything but washing gets off the dirt, spines,and lets you check for bugs and bad spots. Nobody wants to eat a pickled bug.
I also use fresh dill heads that I grow in the garden.Ice down the cucumbers while you get everything together,sterilize the jars,and make the brine.
You need 8 quart jars. I use my dishwasher to sterilize them but you can use boiling water too. Large stainless steel pot. Don't use aluminum because it reacts to the acid in the vinegar. In the large pot mix 4cups white vinegar,12 cups water,2/3 cup pickling salt, and bring to a rolling boil.
In the sterilized jars place 1 or 2 dill heads,1 washed grape leaf,1 clove garlic or 1 tsp crushed garlic,1/4tsp red pepper flakes,and 1/4 tsp mustard seed.

Pack the jars with the washed cucumbers. Leave room at the top for brine to cover and still leave 1/2in head space.

Once the cucumbers are in the jars you fill to within 1/2in of the top with the boiling brine. Wipe the rim with clean paper towel and place the 2 piece lid on making sure to only tighten the ring slightly. Place in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Remove jars and cool. Check seals then let sit for at least a month to let the flavors blend.

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