As the garden bounty continues in full swing, the kitchen has seen a lot of action with canning, putting up, preserving, and saving our harvest for the coming months. Many days from now, as these jars open up in the deep of winter; they will be a reminder of summer days and wishes for warmer weather which will be floating in our dreams. How can I say that when we have been breaking high temperature records in thousands of cities across America? Because come January and February when snow is blanketing thirty percent of the northeast, we will be cracking open a jar of pickled kosher dills and thinking of our prolific cucumber vines from June, July and August.
The Garden of Cucumbers
This recipe is adapted from the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving, 100th Anniversary Edition, 1909-2009 as found on page 50.
This recipe makes about 7 pint jars or 3 quart jars of kosher dill pickles.
Step by step with accompanying photos.
Cut the cucumbers to size fitting the jars and appropriate head space. I used a straw and cut it to fit the correct ¼-inch headspace to fit the jars.
Using the aid of the Ball headspace tool to ensure cucumber spears fit jar.
Wash cucumbers and drain well.
Combine the sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot, stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the pickling spices which have been placed into a cheesecloth bag or tea strainer.
Pack cucumbers into jars. Ladle hot brine / pickling liquid into jars to within ¼ inch headspace.
Adjust two-piece lids and bands.
Process jars in water bath for 15 minutes.
Allow jars to cool 24 hours then label.
|6 – 8||Lbs||Cucumbers, cut to fit jars and into spears|
|½||Cup||Pickling or canning salt|
|3 ½||Tsp||Dill seed, divided|
|3 ½||Tsp||Mustard seed, divided|
|1.||Wash the cucumber spears and then drain well.|
|2.||Combine the sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot, stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the pickling spices which have been placed into a cheesecloth bag or tea strainer. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.|
|3.||Pack cucumbers into cleaned and prepared hot jars. Ladle the hot brine / pickling liquid into jars and over cucumbers, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Add 1/2 tsp each of the dill seed and mustard seed, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 bay leaf into each jar. Remove any air bubbles, and then adjust liquid again to 1/4 inch head space.|
|4.||Adjust the two-piece lids and screw bands finger tight onto jars.|
|5.||Bring water processing pot to a boil with jars, and process pints and quarts for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and remove lid and allow jars to rest in hot water for 5 more minutes. Then remove jars from hot water bath and allow to cool on a kitchen towel, evenly spaced with room to cool for 24 hours. Check bands and lids for proper seal, if not sealed properly, process again. Label and date, then store pickles for two weeks before opening and for up to one year. Once jars are opened, refrigerate for up to two weeks.|