Cold Packed Cucumber Dill Pickles

I love this pickle recipe, because I can make a jar as I pick cucumbers instead of saving cucumbers until I have a lot and doing a mass canning.  I also love this because it’s relatively effortless.

The first thing you have to do is sterilize the jars.  This is important because you aren’t going to be applying heat to the process, so this is your chance to kill any bacteria on the surface of the jar.  First wash them in hot, soapy water, then rinse them and put them in a pan big enough to cover the jars with water.  Bring the water to a boil, and boil them for 20 minutes.  Leave the jars in the hot water until you’re ready to use them.

One other thing you need to do to prep:  One of the items in this pickle is a clove of garlic.  There is a bacteria common in the onion family, which can cause spoilage.  To protect against this, bring a small pot of water to boil.  Peel your garlic cloves and plunge them into the boiling water for one minute then remove.  The clove is now safe to use.

You want about 4-inch cucumbers.  For each jar, you’ll need as many cucumbers as will fit in the jar.  That’s usually about 5 of them.

Wash your cucumbers really well.  Cut the ends off, especially the end where the stem was.  (If you leave the stem on, the pickles can end up mushy.)

In the bottom of each sterilized jar, place:

1 rounded Tablespoon of rock salt or canning salt

1 large grape leaf or horseradish leaf (I use horseradish leaves) (washed well)

1 to 2 dill heads (washed well)

1 clove garlic

Once these items are in the jar, pack your cucumbers in.  Reserve space in the top for more dill heads.

Fill with cold, filtered water.

Place another dill head in the top of the jar.  Wipe the lip of the jar off with a clean cloth and put the lid and band on the jar.  Tighten.

Gently turn the jar up and down until the salt is dissolved.

Store in a cool place.

The pickles will be ready in about 2 or 3 months.

last year's batch next to the fresh-made batch


You may note some fermentation for a few days, which is natural for this method of pickling.  If a jar runs over, wait until the fermentation is over, wipe the lip off with a clean cloth, and reseal.



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