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It's a Pretty Big Dill...

Homemade pickles, fresh out the garden, y'all.

Homegrown cukes, homegrown dill, homemade pickling spices/juice.

Super proud moment for me - hot water bath canned pickles, unsupervised, for the first time by myself. While watching our baby and three dogs. Woah.

We have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. Went a little overboard this planting season... oops. I have been drinking cucumber water, having them with lunches, making salads, and I had been throwing together some easy refridgerator pickles (pickles sans hot packing), but if I didn't preserve some, we were going to loose them.

Anybody have any other unique cucumber recipes?

Next, I plan to try "whiskey sour" pickles... Which, to me is practically a jar full of pickle-backs (a unique shot to order at the bar...). Solid.

Here's what I used for the pickling juices/spices:

  • Peppercorns

  • Garlic (powdered or freshly minced - not in oil)

  • Vinegar

  • Kosher, Sea, or pickling Salt

  • Black Pepper

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Ground Mustard (although mustard seeds would have been preferred)

  • Cinnamon

  • Allspice

  • Dried Bay Leaves (I smash mine into pieces)

  • Celery Seed

  • Whole Cloves

  • Fresh Dill (from the garden)

  • Water (to cut the sour vinegar and salt)

*I added spices to taste. I filled the jars 1/2 way with the vinegar brine mix, and then the remaining 1/2 with water to cut down on the salty-ness. I used white vinegar in the mix, although cider vinegar could be used as well. Reference Ball's water bath pickling recipe here for recommended quantities:.

*For a spicier variation, throw in some sliced jalapenos. We have done this with our pickled bar egg recipe I've been playing with, and it's working out nicely!

TIP: For crunchier pickles, try putting the slices in an ice water bath in the fridge up to 24 hours before hot packing.

Simply mix the ingredients together and boil the solution in a pot on the stove for 10-15 minutes. Pour solution into the steralized mason/canning jars with heavily packed sliced pickles. Leave about a 1/2 inch of head-space in the top of the jar. Seal with a clean lid, and process in the hot water bath for 15-20 minutes.

After the water bath, let cool on a clean towel overnight to allow for the lids to seal, to preserve your pickles!

When the lids are popped down, they have been properly sealed, and can be stored for up to 18 months. Don't forget to write the date on the jar!

FYI: there are risks involved with canning - before expirementing, read up on proper canning procedures and only use recipes you trust!

Canned goods from your garden make for awesome gifts. I hope our family and friends may look forward to some of these babies in their stockings this year.... Homegrown and homemade specialties are also a fun addition to the table when entertaining - serves as an edible talking point!

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