This morning I plucked a few early canning tomatoes from the garden. Straddling feral watermelon vines that went berserk while we were at fair last week, I found the first ripe torpedoes of the year tucked down deep beneath the six-foot canopies these parent plants […]
Tag: Eat Local
The solstice has come and gone. The days are lengthening, but the daylight comes in sluggish increments at first. The average daily temperature won’t start rising in earnest again until February and then only in fits and starts until about April. With the distraction of […]
We didn’t get a sweet corn patch planted this year, and it’s really a shame, because it’s been a great year for it. Fortunately, we have generous friends and neighbors who did and we’ve been enjoying the fruits of their labor instead. It hasn’t been […]
The Man loves pickles. I mean absolutely loves. And The Small Humans are not far behind him in their own adoration, the larger of the two being quite capable of eating an entire quart of pickled eggs on her own… in a week. So, while the 28 quarts of pickles I’ve put up over the past week may seem like a lot, I’ll be surprised if they last the year.
Spicy Garlic-Onion Dills
makes 7 quarts
8-12 lbs #4 Pickling Cucumbers
1/2 Medium Onion, cut into thin wedges
2 Large Heads Garlic
2 1/2 tsp Dill Seed per Quart
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper per Quart
1 tsp Whole Peppercorns per Quart
8 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
8 Cups Water
1 1/4 Cup Pickling Salt
Prep your canner, jars, lids, and equipment. Wash your cucumbers in a big colander and set aside.
Peel garlic. Peel and slice onion. Gather jars and add 3 large or 5 small to medium cloves of garlic, one small wedge of onion, and the rest of the spices to each.
You can use whatever onion you have on hand or suits your fancy. I used red because it adds some color interest to the jars. In hindsight, I’d have used multi-color peppercorns for the same reason, but black work, too.
Trim ends off cucumbers and slice into either halves or spears according to your preference.
Pack cucumbers into jars, taking care to pack them as tightly as possible. They will lose bulk after processing and your jars will seem rather empty if you don’t pack tightly. I take a big handful of spears all at once, as many as will fit through the mouth of the jar (wide mouth jars work best), and then fill in the gaps with individual spears. I find that this helps keep them standing upright while you pack and increases the amount you can pack in each jar.
Combine the salt, vinegar and water in a large pot and bring to a light boil before ladling over pickles, applying lids and rings to fingertip-tight and processing for 15 minutes* in a boiling water bath. Remove from canner as soon as processing time is up to help prevent them from becoming mushy.
Remember: if you live above 1,000 feet elevation you will need to adjust your processing time.
Disclaimer: This recipe has not been tested and is not NCFHP approved. It is my own creation, adapted from several other recipes found by me both in books and online. Its creation follows principles for modern home canning that I am comfortable using to create food for my family, but each home canner must make that decision for him or herself. I encourage all canners to learn about what makes canning safe (and unsafe) and set their own boundaries. For more information check out my Home Preservation Safety post at BlogHer.
The Pig Dog is starting to show some instinct. It’s terribly exciting. I mean terribly, terribly exciting. The kind of exciting in which a split second can make your whole day. Last night he held a wayward laying hen to the fence like a boss. […]