Monday, September 14, 2009

Preserving the harvest... Dill Pickles

Sunday was the weekly trek to the Ottawa market.... All that wonderful produce...I can't resist making dill pickles. It seems to me I give away more bottles of pickles than we ever eat. Most people as far as I know enjoy the tasty treat...I know my nieces and nephews do!

You will need 11 quarts of small pickling cucumbers, 2 heads of dill per quart and 2 cloves of garlic peeled and lightly smashed. This recipe yields 12 quart jars.

Place the heads of dill and 2 cloves of garlic in hot sterilized jars. Fill with cucumbers... you will need 1 inch head space.

Make a brine with

-4 cups white pickling vinegar

-28 cups of water

-2 cups coarse pickling salt

-2 tbsp pickling spice wrapped in double cheese cloth.

Combine in a large pot and boil for 5 minutes. Discard pickling spice. Pour boiling mixture into jars leaving 1/2 inch at the top and then immediately cover with lids that have been boiled for 5 minutes.

Place jars in a canner 1/2 filled with warm water (120-140 degrees). Fill with enough hot water to cover lid 1 inch above jars. Heat water high enough to maintain a temperature of ~180 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause softening of the pickles.

Place the processed jars in a cool dry cupboard for 6 weeks. It's worth the wait!

The recipe above is a combination of 2 different ones from Jean Pares book entitled "Preserves". If you're looking to preserve the harvest, it's one of my favourite resources!

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