Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles, originally uploaded by Vimos.

We made pickles again!

 Last year’s pickles were so good, but some of us didn’t like the pickling spices too much.  I decided to try some w/ and some w/o pickling spices this year.  We’ll see.   This is how I did it this year:

Wash pickling cucumbers in water only.  Scrub well, especially the blossom end.  Sterilize quart jars. Sterilize quart jars.

Make brine:  6 quarts water, ¾ cup salt dissolved in 1 quart boiling water, add 5 quarts more

Pack cukes into jars, tight so they won’t float up.  I made three different versions this year.

Batch 1 (4 jars)

First add 1 tsp pickling spice,  1-2 cloves garlic, 1 big sprig dill. Pack with cukes all tight so they can’t float up and add more dill, and more garlic.  Cover w/ brine to point where only surface tension is keeping water from spilling, put lid on but do not tighten  band (or even don’t put band on.)

Batch 2:  (2 jars)

Added about 10 pepper corns, big sprigs dill and garlic cloves.  Packed in fatter cukes cut in half.  Added more dill and garlic.  Topped w/ brine as w/ batch 1.

Batch(let) 3:  (square container)

Just spears of cukes on their sides packed w/ garlic and dill covered w/ brine and lid.

They will start fermenting in a couple of days for spears, a few more days for others.  Keep cukes covered w/ brine.  All the instructions say skim off any mold that forms, but I’ve never had any.  Cap and refrigerate when they are sufficiently pickled.  I like them at the NY Deli “half-sour” stage.  Refrigeration will slow down, but not stop the fermentation, so the pickles will slowly get more “pickly.”

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