I can think of no better contribution a cucumber can make than becoming a pickle! This recipe is another handwritten family cookbook classic from my step-grandmother and great aunt, Agnes (oh, these convoluted Southern families ;). It is important to make sure your vinegar is of a high quality--don't go generic. We usually use Heinz brand. Also, this recipe is for 7-8 quarts, so adjust accordingly based on how many cucumbers you have (or their size!).
- Wash and pack your cucumbers in clean jars.
- Add 1 tsp dill seed or a pinch of fresh dill and one clove of garlic (if cloves are small, use 2) per quart.
- Combine vinegar, water and salt and bring to a boil.
- Pour or ladle liquid mixture into jars; wipe rims, place lids and screw on bands fingertip-tight.
- Process them in a boiling water bath for ten minutes; let cool undisturbed on a protected countertop until completely cool or overnight.
- Store them for 21 days.
- Put in refrigerator and let chill at least 24 hours before opening.
This is the exact recipe that my grandmother made when I was growing up. We loved them so much that one summer she made over 100 quarts for us (yes, 100 quarts all from this recipe). Now I make them for my family, and we love them. *Tip: my grandmother used to throw several towels and the cukes in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. They come out perfectly clean and unbruised. Much easier than washing them by hand.
These pickle are great. A friend's daughter, 16, is a pickle lover I am always buying her those huge pickles out of the jar, she loves these. Only thing I did different was to add red pepper flakes for a little zip, will definately make these again.
We made this recipe with Wal-Mart generic vinegar, used fresh dill (2 sprigs per jar), and the chopped garlic in a jar (can be found in most produce sections.) The pickles made my hubby happy, and he's a huge garlic critic. Would higly recommend this recipe.