Not that you'd know it by looking at my RSS feed, but I've done a lot of canning this summer. I started with blueberry jam, moved on to cherry jelly, and followed that up with salsa. But my favorite -- by far -- has been dill pickles.
Crispy and tangy with a hint of garlic (and of course, plenty of dill), these are perfect with a hot burger or a cold sub. They blow the storebought kind out of the water (...er, brine?).
KOSHER-STYLE DILL PICKLES
(adapted from a recipe by Sharon Howard)
Note: I didn't have eight, 1-quart jars, so I placed the extra cucumbers in a Tupperware container, covered everything with warm brine and added dill and garlic. After letting them marinate for two days in my refrigerator, they were ready to eat -- and delicious.
8 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 5 inches long
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
24 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed Or 1/3 tsp. dill seed per jar
Prepare water bath canner and eight, 1-quart jars and lids.
Wash cucumbers, slice into spears, and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required.
In a large stainless steel pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
In each jar, place 2 cloves of garlic, one head of dill or dill seeds, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar. Add one more garlic clove and a sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine, covering pickles completely while leaving 1/2-inch of head space. Seal jars, making sure to clean the jars' rims of any residue.
Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.5.Store pickles for a at least 3 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place. Note: the brine may turn the garlic a bluish or greenish color. This is completely normal and is safe to eat.