Make Pickles – the easy way
When you have an abundance of cucumbers, it’s time to make pickles the easy way. There probably is an easier way than this, but this is the easy way to make pickles that taste great 🙂
First, pick yourself about 4 pounds of ripe cucumbers. You want them to be 3 to 6 inches in length. Make sure you wash them and then cut off the tips.
It’s important to cut off the flower end because they won’t get tender if you don’t. Cutting off the stem end is optional I guess, but they will look more appetizing without the stem.
Fill a large pot of water about 1/2 full (or 1/2 empty depending on your disposition) and heat it to a boil.
While that pot is heating, go ahead and start slicing up your cucumbers. For pickle sticks, cut each cucumber in half and then cut each half into three equal wedges. Put these cucumber wedges in a nice clean container like this picture.
Once you have the cucumbers sliced, mix up your seasonings. You’ll want to have:
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 14 cloves of garlic peeled
- 14 sprigs of dill weed
You will also need 3/4 cup of canning salt*, 2 1/2 quarts of water, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.
Dissolve the salt in warm water, add the other ingredients (except the dill and garlic) and let that sit until your large pot of water is boiling.
Once the large pot is boiling turn the heat to a simmer.
In each jar, place 1/7 of the garlic and dill. Then load with the cucumbers. Pack each jar with as many slices of cucumber as you can fit. For 4 pounds of cucumbers, you can expect to need 5 to 7 jars. Top each jar with the remaining garlic and dill. Then pour the liquid with the seasonings to fill each jar within 1/2 inch of the top.
Put the lids on and place the jars in the large pot of simmering water. Leave them in the water for 15 minutes.
Remove and let them cool. Wait two weeks and your pickles will be ready to eat.
Unopened jars will stay fresh for years. Once you open a jar, however, you should refrigerate what you don’t eat.
* canning salt is salt that does not have any additives. Most salts have iodine and some anti-clumping agents. Your pickles will taste fine, but the liquid will be cloudy and unappetizing if you use regular table salt.