I have always loved pickles, in ever way shape and form.
Grilled cheese must always be served with a big juicy pickle,
and I even created a pickles and cheese sandwich was I was a little girl.
And a fabulous dill pickle alone was a huge treat!
One of my favorite things to do was buy one of those really ginormous dill pickles right out of the pickle jar at the neighborhood market. Last year I introduced my little one to the joy of a fresh, homemade dill pickle from a local restaurant. Jules loved them and went pickle and cucumber crazy. That's my girl!
I had always wanted to make my own pickles but I thought it would be too time consuming or too difficult for a mediocre final outcome. Well, the other day, while visiting and pinning away, I pinned a recipe for pickles. I clicked over to discover this recipe on Common Sense Homesteading for "no canning required dill pickles." Her post is full of other more technical information (about the salt, etc.), so I highly suggest checking it out if you are interested in trying this.
I did a little searching around and found some more information on this method. You can check out those articles on Pillsbury, Pick Your Own, Taste of Home, and Cooks.com.
So, after reading a bit, I bit the bullet and did it! I have my big beautiful half gallon Ball jars, I had the pickling salt (Morton's), and garlic. I picked up some small cucumbers and fresh dill at the grocery store. My cucumbers were not organic, but I will deal with that later.
So, here is what I did...and seriously, TRUST ME - this was so simple and these are the best pickles EVER! They flew out of my frig and I have another batch brewing...I made need another refrigerator to store my pickles (ha!).
FYI: I do specify brand in some of the ingredient because that is what I used.
- Small cucumbers (I did not specifically use pickling cucumbers)
- Fresh dill (I used about 6-8 stalks of fresh dill)
- 3-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup pickling salt (I had Morton Canning and Pickling Salt on hand and that is what I used)
- 9 cups water
- Large stock pot
- Large (half gallon Ball jars)
- Cheesecloth and rubber band (for covering)
- I also found a wide mouth funnel to be quite useful
- Prepare the jars. I will be honest, I did not sterilize my jar for this batch. I washed it thoroughly with super hot water, but when I make a lot of pickles I will follow the correct canning guidelines.
- Prepare the cucumber by wash them thoroughly and slicing a small amount off of each end of the cucumber.
- Peel the garlic cloves (I slightly smashed my cloves)
- Wash dill and pat dry.
- Place about half of your dill stalk and garlic cloves in the bottom of the clean jar.
- Place prepared cucumbers in the jar.
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large stock pot and boil for one minute.
- Let it cool slightly.
- Pour brine into the jar over the cucumbers.
- I then added my remaining dill stalks to the top of the jar - it kind of kept the cucumbers down in the jar.
- Cut a square of cheesecloth and place it over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band.
- EDIT #1: I did not put a lid on the jar before placing the cheesecloth on it. Mine went into the frig after one day
- EDIT #2: THANK YOU to Laurie from Common Sense Homesteading for adding this in the comments: "While the pickles sit for a few days at room temp (before they go in the fridge), they need to breath because they will give off some carbon dioxide as they ferment in the brine. That's why you skip the lid until they go in the fridge. The cold temperatures slow down the ferment, so they might "burp" a bit when you open them, but otherwise a lid is preferred once they are in cold storage."
- Let cool some more.
- I placed mine in the back of my refrigerator for one week before testing them out. The recipes says they should be ready in a few days though.
I am not joking...
these pickles are the BEST!
I will have a hard time ever buying pickles again!
What do you think...do you love pickles? If so, you should try this!