Although this is a separate post, I canned my dill pickles the same day as I did my bread-and-butter pickles. It was a looooooog day, but it's not often I can be on my feet that long without being in a lot of pain so it was worth it!
Dill pickles require a little more than the bread-and-butter pickles. You can't use just any cuke at the local produce stand. You need Kirby cukes. They are smaller and crunchier but taste pretty much the same. And you need fresh dill and fresh garlic. And short, wide-mouthed jars. And the lids and rings that fit the wide-mouthed jars.
Anyway, once you've made sure you have everything you need (preferably before you start the process...unless you have a hubby that is willing to drop everything and run to get you whatever you didn't realize you absolutely had to have until you are at the point you can't stop to go get it yourself...yes, this is my life!) it's time to make pickles!
So, here are the Kirby cukes, washed and waiting to be re-created into something a little more tart!
You may be wondering what in the world I was doing to the pickles. Dill pickles should be crisp when you take a bite and the last time I made dill pickles (all four recipes and about 20 jars in total) they were soggy, limp and not a crunch to be found anywhere.
So I did some research and everyone suggested to have some extra crunch to soak the cukes in a lime bath. You may be wondering where ketchup fits into a dill recipe. The simple fact is...it doesn't. Cukes tend to float and I was trying to make sure they all stayed submerged to get the full benefit of the lime bath. But it confused my hubby when he first walked into the kitchen and saw it. Lots to be said for keeping the mystery in the relationship (or the kitchen)!
Here's the jar with the sliced cukes, fresh dill and fresh garlic just waiting for the brine to boil!
This quart jar is full of the little pieces that were left over when I cut the cukes down to fit in the smaller pint jars. Couldn't see wasting them and thought dill pieces would be a great idea!
Wish I could tell you this batch and new process (for me at least) turned out great, but dill pickles need to sit for a minimum of EIGHT WEEKS before you can open them and try them out. So the beginning of November we'll open on of the jars and see how it turned out. That's a long time to wait to see if you did everything right, but life isn't always instant gratification!