Dill Pickles

Dill pickles are one of my favorite things in the whole world of food. Last year I found an awesome, simple pickling recipe that came out great.  We did not have any pickling cucumbers this year because of the limited garden space, but I picked up about 12 of these beauties at the farmers market for only $6. Well worth it i think. The pickle recipe is below, I added some additional spices, mustard seed and a little chili flake to my taste.

Ingredients

* 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 a glass or metal bowl with cold water and lots of ice cubes.  If you are going to do your pickles sliced or in spears, cut them first before soaking. Place the bowl in your refrigerator. 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.

I had a blowout with one of my jars so the entire water bath was filled with floating spices and failed pickles – I still ate those bad boys though and they were good.

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