Wednesday, August 17, 2011

cucumbers + dill = pickles (hopefully)

Last year, at our fruit stand, I saw a woman buy a big box of cucumbers and huge bunches of dill. "Don't forget to make your pickles right away so the cucumbers stay crunchy" was the advice from the fruit stand guy. So this year, I thought I would try making pickles myself. So a couple of weeks ago, I asked the fruit stand guy to put my name down for a box of cucumbers and dill. And last week I got a message from him saying I would get my box on Monday. So I found a recipe, got out my jars and lids, bought vinegar and pickling salt and on Monday, the boy and I stopped and bought the box of cucumbers and dill. And I got the "make them right away so the cucumbers stay crunchy and wash them really well" advice.

So I washed and sorted cucumbers for about an hour - all 10 pounds of them.

I washed the jars and lids, boiled the water in the canning pot and made the brine. Then I stuffed the jars with dill,

mustard seed, black pepper corns and the cucumbers and topped them up with the brine solution. Into the canning bath for 20 minutes and now they are put away in the cupboard to "cure".

They look like pickles, so I'm hoping they taste like pickles.

Here's how I did it:

Dill Pickles (based on blue ribbon dill pickles from

9 wide mouth jar, with lids and seals
10 lbs cucumbers, washed and sorted by size
fresh dill, flowers and a few inches of stem
mustard seeds
pepper corns

17 c water
4 1/2 c white vinegar
1 c pickling salt

Wash the jars and keep hot, either in a canning bath or from the dishwasher. Place the lids and seals into a saucepan, cover with water and simmer. Shake the dill flowers and sprigs to remove any bugs. Fill the canning bath half full of water and set to boil on the stove.

Make the brine by adding the water, vinegar and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low until ready.

When everything is ready, begin to fill the hot jars, one at a time. Place a few dill flowers in the bottom of each jar, add 5 peppercorns, a few mustard seeds and fill the jar with cucumbers, fitting the cucumbers in tightly up to the neck of the jars. Pour the brine in the jars, leaving 1/2" head space. Add a tiny sprig of dill to the top and cap with the lid and seal. Place the jars in the canning bath. Process for 15 minutes. Remove from the bath onto a clean towel and let cool, covered with another towel for 24 hours. Place in a dark, dry area for storage.


Rob @ How to Cook Hero said...

Is it absolutely insane that I never realized how easy it would be to make pickles?

mummydinosaur said...

Not really - I didn't either until I did it!