Friday, July 30, 2010

How to Make Pickles

Since I have had a couple of requests for a pickles tutorial - here it is! Hope you find it useful, and please feel free to ask questions about anything that isn't clear. :^)

Before you begin: Wash thouroughly as many glass jars as you think you will need. They can be quart or pint size. Wide mouth jars work the best for pickles. Make sure you have enough lids and rings to match.

Tools that make things alot easier: Magnetic lid lifter, jar funnel, jar lifter

Now, wash your cucumbers. If they are small enough, you can leave them whole, or you may want to chop them into slices or spears.

 In earch quart size jar place:
-1 tablespoon of dill seed
 -About 2 tablespoons of fresh dill weed (if available)
-1 tablespoon salt 
-1 tablespoon chopped garlic (optional)
-1 or 2 washed grape vine leaves (optional - helps keep pickles crisp)

Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jars. Don't be afraid to really squeeze them down and fit as many in as possible. Just make sure you don't have any sticking slightly up over the top. :^)

Spread out a dry towel on a clean work surface and place all of the jars spaced a little apart from each other on the towel.

Now - count up how many jars of cucumbers you have. You will need half as much liquid as you have jars. So - if you have 16 quart jars, you need to make 8 quarts of brine.

The brine needs to be 2/3 vinegar and 1/3 water.
So, for 8 quarts of brine that would be 5 1/3 quarts vinegar and 2 2/3 quarts water

For homeschool moms who wish for the exact formula :

Vinegar: 2/3 x 8 quarts/1 = 16/3 (divide bottom into top and you get 5 1/3 quarts of vinegar)
Water: 1/3 x 8 quarts/1 = 8/3 which equals 2 2/3 quarts water 

Mix the brine in a pan on the stovetop and bring to a rolling boil.

Also place your clean lids and rings into a saucepan of water and bring to a boil.

When the brine is has been boiling for at least a minute, take it off the heat and place it near your jars. Take the sauce pan with the lids off the heat as well. You have to work rather fast here because you don't want everything to cool off. (but be extremely careful! you can get burned) Dip a glass measuring cup into the brine and begin filling the jars within about 1/4" of the top edge of the jar. Place the funnel over the jar you a filling. Fill all the jars, and then wipe the round glass top edge of the jar with a clean, damp cloth. (you don't want any water droplets or bits of dill to get in the way of the seal)

You can use a dry towel to grasp the hot jars as you place a lid and ring on each and screw down tightly. (use the magnetic lid lifter to get the lids out of the boiling water) Turn each jar upside down on the towel and let cool about 30 minutes. Then turn right-side up. To test if your jars have sealed press on the middle of  the lid. If it pops up and down, it is not sealed. If it is curved downward slightly towards the middle and does not pop when pressed, it is sealed.

You can either store unsealed jars in the fridge, or you can waterbath them to seal. To water bath, place the unsealed jars in a canner or large pot and fill with water to just over the jars. Boil for about ten minutes. Use the jar lifter to remove from the boiling water and let cool.

Remove rings from sealed jars and admire your lovely pickles! Store in the pantry for about two weeks before eating. Yum!


Happy Homemaker And Momma said...

Thank you so much!!!!I just love pickles-now I just need to get some cucumbers:)

Rebecca Jane said...

oh I look lovely. lol.

do you think I can eat my pickles now? has it been long enough?

Atlanta said...

Yes, I bet it's been long enough.

Stephanie Ann said...

Thanks so much! I can't wait to try these!

Michaela said...

Hello Atlanta! - just popping in to say...I LOVE your blog - *and* I've seen your profile on HSA. :)

Anonymous said...

This is great! You can't find pickles in Costa Rica for a decent prize but you can find cucumbers cheap so I shall have to try this!

The Wells Family said...

Thanks Atlanta, I've never liked homemade pickles because they're soggy. This looks like they might stay crisp since they're not cooked.
We'll have to try this
Jimmie Wells

Miss Kelly and Miss Andrea said...

The pickle recipe! Thanks!

Atlanta said...

yeah! glad you found it....I kept forgetting to send you the link :^)


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