making pickles

Have you ever made your own dill pickles? I hadn't until a few weeks ago when my mother-in-law was visiting from out West. It is much easier than I thought. The biggest challenge was collecting all the tools and implements you need; two large canning pots, glass jars and lids, some kind of lifting device for the hot jars, and all the ingredients. We followed a recipe that has been in the family for a number of years. There is nothing difficult about making pickles it really is about being prepared and having everything you need on hand. The family recipe brine consists of three things: salt, vinegar and water. This is brought to a boil in one of the large pots.

In the meantime, you should give your cucumbers a good scrub and gather the ingredients you will need to place inside the sterilized jars. We used fresh dill which smelled absolutely heavenly and raw garlic.

Once the brine is boiling add your ingredients to each jar (dill weed, garlic, and cucumbers) and top with the hot brine.

Then seal each jar with a lid and transfer to a canning pot filled with boiling water.

Let the jars boil for five minutes and then remove.

While the jars cool you may hear a popping sound which is the noise the lids make when sealing. Once this has happened you must store the pickles away for at least six weeks. We made 25 pounds of pickles which required about 22 litres of brine.

I wish I could tell you how good they taste but ours are still pickling in the basement. My mouth waters thinking of how salty and tangy they will taste. A couple more weeks and they should be good to eat. I'll let you know how they turn out!