Grandma used to can and Mom did also, to a lesser degree ~ they were stocking their farm cellars for winter. Grandma’s cellar was filled with shelf after shelf of beautifully colored Mason jars filled with all sorts of fruits and veggies. Mom even canned beef from our own cattle after they were slaughtered, which to me was excellent; especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas when she made Mincemeat Pie.
I just never got into canning and it’s still a mystery to me. I always figured I would poison people if I tried it so I have no interest in canning anything. Then, when I came across recipes for pickles that require no canning, I knew they were meant for me. There are countless recipes for refrigerator pickles with some heating the brine, some with more salt, more sugar, more garlic and more dill weed than this recipe contains. So you can customize this recipe to your liking.
These 2 jars won’t get us through the winter, but they’re perfect to enjoy right now. They’re crisp and crunchy with just the right tang. I cut the cucumbers, make the spicy brine to pour over them, refrigerate and wait. They do get better; tangier as they age. This is almost as easy as going to the grocery store and picking up a jar off the shelf!
Garlic Dill Pickles
20 small pickling cucumbers
2 quarts cold water
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pickling spices
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt (do not use iodized salt)
4 garlic cloves, divided and lightly smashed
2 sprigs fresh dill heads, divided
Wash 2 quart mason jars.
Wash cucumbers without scrubbing them.
Trim 1/8-inch from the blossom end of each cucumber and slice into halves or quarters, whatever size you want them to be.
In each quart jar, layer 1 dill sprig, 2 garlic cloves and half of the sliced cucumbers.
In a large bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Pour half the brine over the cucumbers in each quart jar, making sure the cucumbers are submerged.
Place the lid on the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
Place jars in the refrigerator and allow to set for 2 days before tasting.
Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and recipes.