Pickles: Vintage 2010

I've talked a lot about how much I love pickles. Last year I made my very first batch of homemade pickles. The process was very exciting, the pickles were delicious, and I've been waiting all year to make more!

This year I grew my own pickling cucumbers and the first harvest was Sunday. I had just enough little cukes to fill a half gallon jar - so I made the first batch of 2010. I spent a few hours trying to find the recipe I used last year. I thought I had pulled it out of one of my cookbooks, but after searching and stressing because I didn't really want to try a new recipe, I finally found the recipe online. I'm reluctant to post the recipe here because I'm not entirely sure these pickles will turn out as good as last year but...how bad can they be? They are Dill Pickles!
Dill Pickles
8 lbs of pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cups pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads of fresh dill weed

Wash/scrub cucumbers with produce brush and place in the sink with cold water and ice cubes. (I only did the ice cubes for one batch, the other I just used cold water). Soak for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 (again, I revised on this a bit).

Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

In a large pot boil the water, vinegar, and pickling salt.

In each jar, place 2 cloves of garlic, one head of dill and enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Add one sprig of dill and fill the jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath (for at least 15 minutes).

Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep up to 2 years in the pantry if cool and dry.

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