Prep 15 mins
Cook 96 hrs
Years ago, our family received a jar of these as a house-warming gift when we moved. My five brothers and I made very short work of that jar--we loved 'em! My mother has made several hundred gallons of these over the years. And I still make at least one gallon every summer....and a few times I've even "canned" them (transferred to quart jars or left in the gallon jar) after they've gotten their sun-tan. They keep for MONTHS in the back of the fridge, or for longer if you "can" them. My folks refer to these as "Gramma Smart Pickles" --after the little old lady who lived next door in Eagle, Wisconsin.
- fresh dill, heads & stems bug-free
- garlic clove (optional)
- cucumber, washed & scrubbed
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup salt, scant
- In a gallon glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, place a layer of dill in the bottom, then a layer of cukes; add garlic cloves if desired.
- Keep layering dill & cukes to the neck of the jar; finish with a layer of dill.
- Add vinegar and salt to the top of the jar; fill with cold tap water.
- Cover and screw on tightly (add a doubled over square of wax paper or plastic wrap if you like, too).
- Give the jar a few good shakes to distribute the salt.
- Set in a sunny spot outside for four days; mark the calendar with the "due date."
- Turn the jar slightly each day (for an even tan); leave out an extra day if rainy or cloudy.
- Chill and eat.
- IDEA: Add green or red pepper slices along with the dill for a taste explosion!
- SUGGESTION: When scrubbing the fresh cukes, sort-as-you-go into piles of uniform size. This makes filling the jar go much quicker--looks prettier too.
I was a little unsure of these when I opened them up and tried them. They were yummy but not crunchy like everyone was saying and I was sure I did something wrong. Duh. Put them in the fridge and they were just as yummy as everyone was saying. My 'brine' turned cloudy and I have some garlic cloves that turned blue (yes, blue! I have no idea!!) but still yummy! I'm moving the current batch to smaller jars and letting the CSA know I'm ready for more cukes!
This was such an easy and carefree recipe to try! I like that I didn't have to have my oven on to make them--this freed up room for other preserving I was doing. At first I was a little worried about the whole spoiling aspect of this style of 'cooking' but I think the high level of vinegar can kill just about anything. I think next time I'll try them without any garlic because I stuffed 3 cloves in and the flavor was a little strong but that was my own variation not the recipe. My picky 4 year old son, a pickle conessiour, loved them. We had a really hot day on one of the days and the jar acually sealed come morning. Thanks for sharing! I will defintely make this many more times in the future! Saeriu
The day after I made these (while they were sunning on my deck rail), I went to a Schwaben picnic. The Schwaben is a club for German immigrants. I mentioned the 'new' recipe I was trying and was quickly assured that the recipe is older than time. It's how it was done when they were children in the old country (these ladies are in their 80's and 90's). They assured me that the old ways are the best ways and I would like them. And I REALLY do! They are addictive. These pickles are super easy to make, have wonderful flavor and crunch, but are very, very salty. Before I started the recipe, I read the reviews stating they were salty, but I didn't reduce the salt, since I wasn't sure if it would ruin the recipe. What I did after determining they were too salty was to drain the brine and replace it with the vinegar and water called for without the salt. It did help some. That being said, they aren't so salty that I won't make them again. I truely like them.