Andy Griffith fans will know that Aunt Bea gave home-canned Dill Pickles a bad name! There is some fear in going to all the trouble and expense of canning your own pickles, only to have them turn out to be “kerosene cucumbers.”
Thank heaven I found a recipe recently that allows you to make a small batch. These are so simple and best yet – they are delicious!
If you have a small garden patch your cucumber yield is not enough to make a huge batch of pickles. Or if you’re blessed, as I am to have gracious friends who share their fresh produce with you, it’s really nice to have a way to make pickles with just a small amount of cucumbers.
When dear friends brought us some super crispy pickling cukes, I just knew they were perfect for some dill spears and slices! I went searching for a recipe that didn’t require canning and made a small batch.
I loved the flavor of the recipe I found. They’re not too spicy or overpowering. I do believe a huge part of the success of these was using a cucumber that is fresh and crisp.
Here’s the simple process…
- 2-3 pickling cucumbers, prepared as you wish…sliced, spears or whole
- 4 sprigs of dill
- 1/2-1 clove of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- Pickle Brine – see below
- Wash your pickles well and remove the blossom end.
- Slice them as desired – slices or spears.
- Add mustard seed, garlic and dill sprigs to your jar, then put your prepared cucumbers in.
- Add the brine to fill the jar and cover your cucumbers. If I have some parts of the cucumbers that rise above the brine, snip of a piece of the cuke so that all parts of all cucumbers are submerged below the brine.
- Put lids on your jars and refrigerate. Because these are not being canned and instead kept in your refrigerator, you don’t need special jars…just make sure the jars and their lids are clean. I boiled my lids and jars for 10 minutes in a large pot.
- If you can let the pickles sit for 2-3 weeks they have more time for the flavor to develop. I’ve read that you should consume them before 3-4 months…we won’t have to worry about that!
- 2 quarts cold water
- 6 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 3 ounces pickling salt
- Mix all ingredients and stir until salt is dissolved.
- Store in a container in your refrigerator.
The first two jars I made are just about gone, but now I have a jar of pickle brine sitting in my fridge just waiting for cucumbers and herbs to be mixed in! It’s so easy and Aunt Bea would agree that these are so much faster than canning 16 jars!!
If you’re afraid of making a big batch of pickles, give these a try! You may just be tempted to enter them into the county fair!
Have you tried making your own pickles? What do you eat with a them? Oh, and in case the picture above made you hungry for onion rings, here are my two favorite recipes – a non-healthy but fabulous one, and a healthy one!