Basic Dill Pickles

It took us a few years to perfect these--but we finally found a good balance between salty, spicy and most importantly, CRUNCHY!! 

You can totally do just a few jars of these and do refrigerator pickles (no canning required).  They'll keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

We do a huge batch each summer and can them using a standard canning pot. It didn't start this way--our first year involved a large saucepan, wire tongs, a case of jars and some burnt fingertips. It turns out, when there's a will, there's a way!  I do not go into details about how to use a canning pot here--be sure to read through your instruction manual beforehand!! 

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What You'll Need:

Mason jars:
--We prefer wide mouth pint jars; easier to get stuff into, and less mess

Brine:
--3 c water
--2 c white vinegar
--1 Tbsp. sea salt (**NOT table salt!**)
Double, triple, quadruple...this recipe as you need to. Heat to a simmer, then turn off heat and cover.

In each jar:
--1 fresh grape leaf (Wild. Literally go in the woods and clip some grape leaves. This is essential, as it keeps the veggies crunchy.)
--1 fresh dill flower (A spring of fresh dill works, too. It is well worth the trouble to seek out a garden that has dill gone to flower!)
--1 clove fresh garlic, crushed OR 1-3 garlic scapes
--1/2 tbsp. whole peppercorn
--1 tsp whole mustard seed
--1 small chili pepper, or 1-2 sliced jalapeños, if you like the heat
--Whatever you want to pickle! {Carrots, peppers, cucumbers, radishes, beans, cauliflower, beets....the possibilities are endless here}. 

 


Process:
 

Heat brine on the high to a simmer, then reduce heat. 


Meanwhile, distribute one grape leaf, one dill flower, one garlic clove and spices into each jar.

Stuff with whatever raw veggies you want to pickle.

Fill jar with hot brine, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch at the top. Do this in shifts, depending on how many jars your pot holds. 

If you are canning/preserving, follow directions for your specific canning pot in regard to boiling times. Depending on how many jars you do, this is an EVENT. It is always very well worth it, but be sure to plan accordingly.



HAPPY PICKLING!