Gobs of Garlic Dill Pickles
Ingredients per quart:
5-9 midsized pickling cucumbers
1 T. dried dill seed (or three heads fresh dill)
1-4 cloves garlic, peeled, according to taste
½ bay leaf, crumbled
12 whole black peppercorns
¼ t. whole yellow mustard seed
⅛ to ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes, depending on heat tolerance
6 c. cider vinegar
12 c. water
1¼ c. kosher salt or pickling salt (Do not use iodized salt!)
Prepare and sterilize your quart jars and rings. Prepare the lids. Set aside.
Remove about 1/16 of an inch of the blossom end of each cucumber. Cut to fit into the jars if necessary. Pack the jars with cucumbers, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Add the spices to each jar. Set aside.
In a large stainless steel (or other non-reactive pan) combine the ingredients for the brine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Use a ladle to pour the boiling brine over the cucumbers and spices, maintaining the ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles from the jar by inserting a thin rubber spatula or chopstick down the sides of the jars and adjust brine level if necessary.
Use a damp towel to wipe the rims of the jars. Position the lids on the jars and screw the rings on to fingertip tight. Place jars in the canner and cover completely with water by at least one inch. Place the lid on the canner and bring to a boil. As soon as the water reaches a boil, begin timing for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid to the canner, turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes then remove jars to a cooling rack or a towel lined countertop. Let cool undisturbed overnight. Wipe clean, label, and store for at least 6 weeks prior to eating. These pickles will store well for at least a year when kept in a cool, dry, dark place.
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