Fresh from the canner, these pickle slices are still turning from bright green to dark green.
You can use small, medium, or large cucumbers, but the larger they are (of course) the fewer you can fit in one jar.
You can also do some sliced. I have found that they are a little softer in texture than the ones I can whole but I like these for sandwiches and it doesn't bother me.
My friend Lisa E. (pictured above) and I learned to pickle dills together. The first recipe we tried called for pickling spices, so we cooked up a batch of the vinegar with spices and Lisa, smelling the odor coming from the pot, mentioned that she wasn't enjoying the smell of the spices and was reluctant to use them, wasting a bunch of cucumbers. Although I hadn't thought about it, I didn't like the idea of my pickles tasting of allspice and Cinnamon either. We looked furiously for a dill pickle recipe that would have a clean garlicky dill flavor. We found only one that came close to our idea of how a pickle should be and it came from the Sonoma County Extension office. We tweaked it just a little bit until it was perfect. My sister, who is a dill pickle connoisseur called it one of the best pickles she's ever had! So here's the recipe for you to try!
4lbs (2 quarts) freshly picked small to medium sized cucumbers
2 tbsp canning salt
4 cups vinegar
4 cups water
1 fresh head of dill weed per jar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds per jar
1 clove garlic per jar
6 peppercorns per jar
1. Wash cucumbers thoroughly.
2. For whole cucumbers, small sizes up to 4 inches are preferred. Larger cucumbers should be sliced, quartered, or halved lengthwise.
3. Combine salt, vinegar, and water in a pot. Heat to boiling.
4. Pack cucumbers into hot clean jars. For each quart jar add: 1 head of dill, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, and six peppercorns. Fill with hot pickling liquid to 1/2 inch of the top for quart jars, and 1/4 inch for pints.
5. Process pint or quart jars of whole cucumbers in hot water bath for 10 minutes, jars of slices or halves for five minutes. 6. Let the pickles cure for 4-6 weeks before opening to taste.
Recipe notes: I have updated this recipe to start off with a larger batch of brine. Because of the irregularity of cucumber size and shape it is an inexact science to figure out how many jars of pickles you'll get out of 4 lbs of cucumbers. Sometimes you can only fit three in a jar, sometimes you can fit six. So be prepared to whip up another batch of brine. It's truly fast and easy to do. And remember that if you have leftover brine you can save it in the fridge for more pickling projects.