Our whole family loves pickles and kosher dills are by far the family favorite!
Mama made them years ago when we lived in western Tennessee. There were lots of former-Amish/Mennonites in the area who were wonderful neighbors. We loved buying fresh eggs, milk and lots of veggies from them … not to mention living in a safe environment.
Then in 2005, we moved away. Since then, we have made very few pickles … we just did not have access to many cucumbers 🙁
This year is different! Mama came across an Amish community about 15 minutes away. HURRAY for fresh produce again!!!
Then, our neighbor called and asked it we could use some cucumbers. I was thrilled! She had been preserving them from her garden but the plants just kept producing (by now the plants are usually dying off) and she was finished.
We had made some pickles from the Amish cucumbers but did not have the extra cash to buy as many as we wanted to preserve. So our neighbor’s offer for us to have hers has been SUCH a blessing. It makes me so happy when we go out to her garden, gather gallons of cucumbers and make lots of pickles. Giving them away as gifts is really fun too! Our Heavenly Father always provides but sometimes He provides even more than we need. I am so grateful.
Some helpful pickling tips:
- For best quality, pickle fruits or vegetables within 24 hours of harvest, or refrigerate for no more than a few days.
- Remove all blossoms from cucumbers and cut a 1/16-inch slice from the blossom end. The blossoms contain enzymes that can cause softening of the final product.
- Soak the cucumbers in ice water for at least 4-5 hours for crisper pickles.
- Although this is a simple recipe, it makes the job so much easier if multiple people are helping … what is that line about “many hands make light work”?
For those of you who don’t want to be sliding your screen up-and-down as you chop cucumbers, measure salt and pour brine, check the bottom of the post for the short version of the recipe. For anyone who wants more detailed instructions, here they are:
Kosher Dill Pickles Recipe
Prepare the cucumbers
Thoroughly wash cucumbers of your choice. We have made all kind of pickles – anywhere from tiny baby pickles, to medium/large whole ones, to slicing them thinly for peanut butter and pickle sandwiches (don’t snarl your nose until you’ve tried it!). Prepare whatever you want/have. Place the cucumbers in ice water for several hours (optional).
Wash and sterilize your jars
Our most recent favorite way to sterilize jars is to wash them and then boil them in our canning stock-pot (with a rack on the bottom), for several minutes. If they are going to break, they usually do it then, while still empty. Sterilize the lids and rings by covering with water and almost bringing them to a boil. Let sit a few minutes.
This brine recipe makes enough for a little more than 1 quart of pickles. One time I quadrupled it (x4) and got 6 quarts of pickles. Another time we did it x10 and got around 14 quarts. It mainly depends on how packed or empty the jar is.
Bring to a boil:
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon pickling salt OR real salt (some friends blessed us with a lot of it and since it is about as healthy as you can get, we enjoy using it!)
Stuff your jars
Place 4 heads fresh dill OR 2 Tablespoons dill seed and 1 – 2 cloves garlic (the original recipe calls for 1 but since I like the pickled garlic, I usually drop 2 in!) in prepared hot jar.
Pack jars with cucumbers.
Cover cucumbers with the brine, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Place the lids and rings on and boil for 15 minutes (add 1 minute for every 1000 feet you are above sea level).
Remove jars from the pot and let cool, clean up, mark them, set aside and then you are DONE!
Let the pickles sit for at least 2 weeks for the flavors to strengthen and blend.
Kosher Dill Pickles
This brine recipe makes enough for a little more than 1 quart of pickles
½ lb. 4 inch pickling cucumbers (or whatever size you like), washed and soaked in ice water (optional)
4 heads fresh dill OR 2 Tablespoons dill seed
1 – 2 cloves peeled garlic
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon pickling salt OR real salt
Bring a canning pot with enough water to cover the jars at least an inch, to a boil. Wash and sterilize jars and lids. In a separate pot, bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil to make the brine.
Place dill and garlic in the jars. Pack full with cucumbers. Cover with the brine and remove any air pockets (leaving about an 1/8 – 1/4 inch head space on top). Fasten lids and place in the canning pot. Bring the water to a boil then simmer (or gently boil) for 15 minutes. Remove from pot and let cool. Clean up. YOU ARE DONE! Let the pickles sit for at least 2 weeks for the flavors to strengthen and blend.
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