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I haven’t been in tune with pickle season so much in the past. Which is probably how I ended up at Duris Cucumber Farm twice this summer before they even had a cucumber to sell.

But I have been in tune to the pickles in the store. Which–if you can believe it, all contain Yellow 5. And which may or may not be a big or even little deal to anyone else. But it is to me.  And so I’ve not bought the stuff off the shelves. No pickles. Pickle-less. For months.

And I tell ya. Tuna fish without pickles is kind of lame.

But. In flipping the pages of this month’s Family Fun magazine (August 2013), I found this: A simple dill pickle recipe that has made it worth rounding up the jars and the dill and the kids to blaze another trip to Duris for cucumbers. These are amazing.

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Here’s what we need: 2 pounds firm pickling cucumbers, white vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, dill seeds (or dill weed), black peppercorns, garlic cloves, fresh dill and jars to put it all in.

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Now. Two pounds of cucumbers is a bit elusive for me. I’d rather someone tell me you need six, fat cucumbers. At which time I can count out six fat ones and feel like I’m following directions. But two pounds…eek..

So. However many cucumbers two pounds is…we want to cut our cukes into spears. I found that cutting mine in half first and then into fours from there was pretty slick.

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Then into an empty quart-size jar, we want to pile our spears in.

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What two pounds really looks like is the number of cucumber spears that fit into 2 quart-size jars.

So…I’ve got a little extra.

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When our cukes our packed into our jars, we can start the brine.

We need 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar and 1/2 cup white sugar.

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To that we’ll add our 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of dill seeds and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns.

We want to bring our mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and stir it until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

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When everything is boiled and dissolved and we can’t see any sugar at the bottom, we need to remove the  pan from the heat and add 2 crushed and peeled garlic and 8 sprigs of fresh dill.

And then let it all sit. For ten minutes.

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Next we need to strain the brine. I used a layered up piece of cheesecloth for this. If you were in a pinch, paper towels would probably work.

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The last step now to turn these guys into pickles is to pour the strained brine over the cukes. And then add in the goodies–the garlic, the peppercorns, the dill–all the stuff we just strained out.

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Such that when we’re done, we’ve got a couple of these beauties.

The directions advise refrigerating these for 24 hours before chomping away. But I bear witness that these were already well on there way to amazing ten hours later when Husband threw a fork in the jar and dragged one out.

And then another.

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If you’ve got a dill pickle hankering, these may be your answer.

Sweet Dilly Pickles (Recipe from Family Fun magazine, August 2013)

2 pounds firm pickling cucumber
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt, such as kosher
2 teaspoons dill seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8 sprigs fresh dill

1. Scrub cucumbers and trim the ends; then cut each cuke lengthwise into eight spears. Evenly distribute the spears in 2 quart-size or 3 pint-size canning jar, packing them snugly.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, dill seeds, and peppercorns.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high eat, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar have dissolved. About 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the garlic and dill.  Let the brine cool for 10 minutes.

3. Strain the brine through a mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup, reserving the herbs, garlic, and spices. Cover the cucumbers in the jars with the brine, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace. Add the reserved seasoning. Put on the caps and gently shake jars to distribute the contents. Refrigerate the pickles overnight. They can be kept refrigerated up to one month.


2 Responses to “Simple. Homemade Dill Pickles”

  1. Hi, Jeanne. I was reading one of your old posts in Recipes of making pickles and you made a reference to Duris Cucumber Farm. I am assuming by that that you live in or around Puyallup. I live not too far from Duris. Small world. Just love your site!!!! And your diary, which the kids will be able to look back and reminisce! Keep it up. Hugs and God Bless

    • jeanne says:

      Hi Carole…the world gets smaller all the time! Thanks for your kind notes. Years back we had a Puyallup address, but now we’re closest to South Hill, tucked back into Graham. I don’t get out to Duris except for a couple of cucumber trips in August. But who knew we lived so close?! Love it.

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