Dilled Pickles are the backbone of my summer canning activity. Every summer we have at least 2 cucumbers plants which produce more than 30 lbs. of cucumbers. Since my kids loved dilled pickles, I make those first, and then Bread and Butter Pickles.
When I pulled the last of the cucumber vines on Saturday, I needed a simple, quick recipe to use up the cucumbers left on the vines. Enter Summer in a Jar! This book has recipes by the jar rather than by cups or pounds making it easy to use up small quantities of produce.
- quart canning jars, bands & lids - clean and free of nicks or cracks
- 1 quart of small pickling cucumbers
- 2 dill heads or sprigs of fresh dill or 2 T of dill seed
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp pickling salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- boiling water
- Sterilize the quart canning jars in a canner for 10 minutes. Sterilize the bands and lids.
- While the jars, bands, and lids are being sterilized, prepare the cucumbers. I like to cut mine into 4 spears per cucumber. I don't worry about the amount, though I find it takes about 3 to 5 cucumbers to fill a jar depending on the size of the cucumber.
- When the jars are almost finished being sterilized, start boiling a few cups of water, depending on how many jars you have. I usually need about ¼ cup to ½ cup of water per jar.
- Put the spices of the bottom of each sterilized jar, and pack each jar with the prepared cucumbers. I pack mine with spears until I can't fit/shove anymore in the jar. Pour the vinegar over top. Add the boiling water leaving ½ inch head space. Wipe the rim of each jar with a towel dampened with hot water, and put the band and lid on. Tighten just enough for the band to stop turning completely. Don't over tighten. Don't under tighten, or you'll have vinegar and water in your canner.
- Place the jars in your boiling water bath or steam canner and process for 5 minutes. Make sure that the water is boiling again, or the steam is coming out before setting the timer for 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes, and then take them out with a jar lifter.
- I put my jars on top of a cotton prep towel on the counter where they won't be disturbed for 24 hours. Cover with another prep towel. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dark, and dry place without the bands. The pickles need at least 6 weeks for the flavors to develop.