Garlic dill pickles

With more cucumbers on the vine every day, this past weekend it was definitely time to break out the canning gear and put up some delicious dill pickles! I more or less followed this recipe for garlic dill pickles, though I left out the black peppercorns and red chili flakes (not really on purpose, I was just in a hurry).

If you have a dishwasher, sterilizing jars becomes easy: just pop the jars into the top rack of the dishwasher and run it on a high-heat cycle while you are preparing the ingredients. Then they’re ready when you need them!

Cukes for pickling - NC Garden Gals

Step 1: I rounded up all the pickling cucumbers I’ve been harvesting over the last two to three weeks. Luckily, they kept very well in the crisper (cucumbers that have gone bad are the worst!) I rinsed these guys thoroughly and set to work.

Brine & water bath - NC Garden Gals

Preparing the boiling water bath. I’ve got a generous amount of water in the pot on the right (I learned last year to overestimate, as the last thing you want is to put your jars in and find they aren’t covered all the way). The pot on the left is the pickle brine simmering.

Chopping garlic - NC Garden Gals

A big part of pickling is just all the chopping! I cut the smallish cukes into spears…it was easy enough to just quarter them lengthwise. Plus – yum – garlic from our own garden will kick these jars of pickles up a notch.

Ready for jars - NC Garden Gals

Supplies for filling jars–cucumber spears, cucumber chips, garlic and dill.

Processing jars - NC Garden Gals

Once the jars are hot and ready to be filled, drop a garlic clove and a head of dill into each jar. Fill up to within 1/4 inch of the top with cucumbers, then pour hot brine over all. Wipe the rim and place a sterilized lid on top, secure it with a ring, and it’s ready to process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes (I did 12 because we are at 2500′ elevation).

Two pickle shapes - NC Garden Gals

Spears and chips after coming out of the water bath. Place them on a dish towel while they’re cooling. *POP!* another jar has successfully sealed.

The finished product - NC Garden Gals

All labeled and ready to enjoy throughout the year.

Garlic dill pickles (via Serious Eats)

Ingredients
2 quart cucumbers (approximately 3 pounds)
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons pickling salt
8 garlic cloves, peeled
4 teaspoons dill seed (I used fresh dill)
2 teaspoons black peppercorns (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon red chili flakes (I omitted this)

Procedures

Wash jars thoroughly in warm, soapy water. If you plan on making shelf stable pickles, prepare a boiling water bath canner. Put fresh canning jar lids into a small saucepan with 3 inches of water and set to the barest simmer.

Wash and dry cucumbers. Remove blossom end. Cut into chips, spears or leave whole, depending on your preference. (Or some of each, as I did!)

Combine vinegar, water and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Equally divide garlic cloves, dill seed, black peppercorns and red chili flakes between jars. Pack prepared cucumbers into jars as tightly as you can without crushing them.

Pour the brine into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace (that’s the amount of space between the surface of the brine and the rim of the jar).

Remove any air bubbles from jars by gently tapping them. You can also use a wooden chopstick or plastic utensil to help remove stubborn bubbles.

Wipe rims and apply lids and bands (don’t screw them on too tightly).

If processing jars for shelf stability, lower jars into your processing pot. When water returns to a boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.

When time is up, remove jars from canning pot and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, check seals.

If you choose not to process your jars, let them cool before putting them into the refrigerator. Do note that your jars may seal during the cooling process. However, without the boiling water bath process, that doesn’t mean they’re shelf stable. Still refrigerate.

Let pickles rest for at least one week before eating.

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