Although we didn’t have a huge harvest of pickling cucumbers (or even regular ones) this year, I did still manage to get a couple jars worth of pickles. I have always been a big fan of pickles of all sorts but a spicy, zesty pickle to eat with a hearty lunchmeat sandwich is always something fine. So I tried a new recipe from one of my canning books, The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving (available on Amazon.com and Amazon.de). This book has over 300 recipes for canning but they all require smaller batch of fruits and veggies for those that aren’t able to harvest by the truckload. It’s also well suited for people in the US and abroad because it has metric and English measurements.
Here’s a couple jars of the pickles. They are cut in spears so fairly easy and quick to prepare for the main event. As you may notice, I almost didn’t have enough pickles for 4 jars worth but I made it work anyway. I actually ended up using pickling cucumbers as well as salad cucumbers for the job. Both turned out great. You may notice something that doesn’t resemble a pickle at the bottom left of the jar on the right. That little wedge thing? That is a garlic clove. Oh yes, each jar gets a big ole piece of garlic in it. And let me tell you that these are some mighty fine pickles. Zesty, crunchy and full of flavor!
I didn’t grow any dill this year and didn’t have access to fresh dill heads or dill seeds, so I just used regular dill weed in the recipe. You still get plenty of dill flavor. I also didn’t have any celery seeds because they just aren’t that easy to find over here. People don’t seem to can quite the same way as we do in America. Also, in case you don’t have pickling salt, you can also use rock salt, sea salt or even regular table salt. Picking salt is usually just finely ground so it disolves quickly when canning.
Sweet Garlic Dill Pickles
Makes 4 pint (500mL) jars.
- 12-16 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 pounds)
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 4 heads fresh dill or 4 tsp dill seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber. Cut cumbers lengthwise into quarters.
- Remove hot jars from canner. Place 1 clove garlic, 1 head fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dill seeds and 1/8 teaspoon celery seeds into each jar. Pack in cucumbers.
- Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and turmeric in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour boiling mixture over cucumbers to within 1/2 inch of rim (headspace). Process 10 minutes for pint jars and 15 minutes for quart (1 L) jars.