This year, I decided to expand my canning from tomatoes and jams to pickles. I made a few jars with the cucumbers I managed to grow in the garden, and even made a batch of fermented "new dills", but it was time to expand the operation and make enough to last for a while. Or at least for longer than a week, given my rapid pickle consumption.
Since my own cucumber plants finally declared themselves on vacation, I went to the farmers market and obsessively picked all the little cucumbers from all the produce stands. Yes, I was that obnoxious person rooting through a pile of produce, squeezing each one, and creating a huge traffic jam. Sorry. It had to be done. I ended up with a bowl of mostly small cukes.
I decided to use the recipe for spicy dill pickles from a friend who gave me a jar last year. They are very vinegary, spicy, and in general good for clearing your brain and sinuses. Just what I need with my lunch!
Recipe is as follows:
Brine: 4 cups white vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup kosher salt.
Per jar: three sprigs dill, 1 grape leaf, three garlic cloves, 1 hot pepper, two tablespoons pickling spice (yellow and brown mustard, dill seed, black peppercorns, allspice, in roughly equal proportions plus some crushed bay leaf)
The process went roughly like this:
|The artistic shot. I am not actually using the recipe from this book,|
but it's pretty and a really good canning book too.
|The stage is set. Yes, that is, in fact, Nick's old burp cloth on the right.|
Its super absorbency makes is very nice for wiping jar rims.
|My kitchen. The water bath and the brine are heating up.|
|The jars are packed and ready for brine.|
|Nice hot bath for 15 minutes.|
|All ready. 4 jars spicy dill pickles, one jar spicy dill zucchini and one|
jar pickled tomatoes.
|My pantry. Ready for the zombie apocalypse.|