I chose this dill pickle recipe because I had all of the ingredients on hand. It called for pickling spice, which I didn't have, but I did some research online and found a recipe for homemade pickling spice mix. I made half of the recipe, knowing that I wouldn't need the full cup of pickling spice that the recipe made.
|Pickling spice mix|
I washed the jars, lids and bands in soapy water, and kept the jars in hot water in the sink until I was ready to fill them.
The recipe directed me to assemble the pickling spice mix in a piece of cheesecloth and tie the top to make a spice bag. Am I the only one who uses the string from the top of feed sacks for such things? I don't "save" string, but I always have a piece or two on hand. I soak it in soap and water, rinse, and hang it to dry. Viola! String!
The spice bag was put in a pot of water and apple cider vinegar, sugar and pickling salt, and boiled for 20 minutes. Then I removed the bag and discarded the spices. I chose the smaller cucumbers and cut them with a julienne blade. I added mustard seed, a garlic clove, dill and bay leaves to each pint jar, then packed the cucumber slices in as tightly as I could. No matter how tightly I pack food in jars though, I end up with floating fruit (or in this case, pickles). Is there a trick to doing that?
I filled the jars with the hot pickling brine, wiped the rims of the jars, put on a new lid that had been kept warm in simmering water, and adjusted a band on the jar until it was finger-tight.
|Ready to go in the canner|
When the water began to boil I set the timer. I have to add some extra time due to my altitude. When it was finished I removed the jars to a towel-covered, draft-free counter for 24 hours.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a