As the dog days of summer are still blazing hot in the Bluegrass, but most home gardens are still actively producing a bountiful harvest. One of the big producers every year is cucumbers, so here is a great dill pickle recipe. Before beginning this recipe, check out my recent article on the herb Dill.
To make Dill Pickles, you need to have some understanding of homecanning. There are several different places you can get information on homecanning: websites like Homecanning
and National Center for Home Preservation. Also. The Lexington Extension Homemakers or there are books at the Lexington Public Library.
- Wide-mouth pint or quart canning jars with lids and rings
- Fresh dill heads (may substitute dill seeds
- Cucumbers, washed and scrubbed (sliced or whole)
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
Brine (pickle juice):
- 8 ½ cups water
- 2 ¼ cups white vinegar
- ½ cup pickling salt
Before beginning, make sure to wash your jars in hot, soapy water – then rinse and fill with hot water; set aside. In a medium saucepan, place lids and rings, cover with water and bring to a simmer.
In a large saucepan or kettle, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat and set aside. Add two or three garlic cloves (if using) and a few tiny sprigs of dill into each jar. Fill hot jars with cucumbers – either whole or slices. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, leaving a half-inch head space in each jar. Add the lid and ring and tighten. Place jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes (after water is hot). Remove jars, set on a dish towel and let cool. Check for seal, label jars and store in a cool dark pantry or cupboard. This recipe will make 7 quarts or 14 pints of pickles.
NOTE:When washing/scrubbing cucumbers, sort them into piles by size. If you have uniform sizes of cucumbers in each jar, it makes them look nicer and makes for easier packing. Most dill pickles need to “rest” for two to four weeks in order to be considered pickles.