Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pickles!


OK - I'm getting pretty late to be posting this, but on the off hand that your garden is bass-ackwards like mine was (I blame the late tomatoes on the cool temperatures ...), there might be the off chance that you might have some cucumbers to pickle? No? Well, then can 'em next year or come over to try a jar of mine!

After my moderate success with the Bread and Butter Pickles (my mama loved 'em ... that's about all the praise that I need), I got all cocky and decided that although I go through about a jar of dill pickles every two years or so (more if I'm making Bloody Mary's), I needed to try and can some dill pickles.

I ended up making two batches of dill pickles - the canned variety and some refrigerator pickles (my kitchen was a disaster area and I was running out of jars.). Here's both ...

I found my canning recipe from AllRecipes.com. This recipe was submitted from a woman who got it from some farmer's wife. If you ask me, that's a sure sign of a winner.

Dill Pickles

from AllRecipes.com

* 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
* 4 cups white vinegar
* 12 cups water
* 2/3 cup pickling salt
* 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
* 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
* 8 heads fresh dill weed

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink ( I use the bathtub!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

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The second recipe I tried was called "Dan Koshansky's Refrigerator Pickles." This one was my kind of recipe, once I got over my fear that I had to leave the jars out for a couple days for the cukes and the brine to "sour." I have sampled these delectable little babies and I gotta be honest - I fear no vampires and I think that I could eat an entire jar in one sitting - thereby ensuring that my husband wouldn't approach me either. These are pretty damn special.

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