So it is almost that time of year, where our gardens are producing more veggies then we can handle so its time to breakout the canning jars, pots and other tools. For me, this time of year is the most memorable and rewarding. There is nothing better then the feeling of being able to preserve your garden veggies for a later time in the year or to gift to other loved ones. One of my favorite things to can is cucumbers, which of course after the canning they are in the process of being made into pickles!
When I was younger we always used to use those pre-made packets of pickle brine from the store, so when I got older and reached for the package to read the ingredients I was very surprised and shocked as to how much junk was in there. It was packed full of preservatives, chemicals, MSG and even dyes so of course I put it back down and went home to figure it out for myself! Here below is a wonderful recipe to make your own pickles at home. Of course you can change whatever it is that you like in this recipe to make it your own, but this is my favorite!
Recipe is for 7-8 pint Jars of pickl
es (You can adjust for Quart jars)
You will need:
For the Brine:
- 2 cups of water
- 8 cups of vinegar
- 3/4 cups of Celtic sea salt
For the Mix
- 1 cup of Dried or chopped fresh dill
- 4 tsp celery seeds
- 4 tsp of mustard seeds
- 4 tsp of dried onion flakes
Optional: Garlic cloves (2-4 per pint jar), Hot chili flakes or peppers (desired amount)
****At this time, before you get started, be sure that the rest of your canning supplies are prepared and ready. Be sure your canning pot is warming to a boil and your canning lids are warming in warm water on the stove so when your finished filling your jars you can seal them and place them right into the canning pot.
- Add your brine to a medium sized pot on the stove and turn it up to a medium heat. ( Your brine does not have to be at a rolling boil, nor a simmer. As long as it’s just hot it will be fine. )
- While your pot is being warmed mix together your spices in a medium sized container or bowl.
- In each jar add 1TBSP – 1 1/2 TBSP of spices to the bottom. And the remainder in the pot of vinegar. Water and salt. At this point if your going to add garlic or spicy peppers you may do so. (You can add in as much as you like but we find that a good heaping tablespoon of spice mixture seems to be enough for a pint of pickles.)
- After you have filled your jars with the spices you can pack in your cucumbers nice and tight.
- Once your jars are packed you can add in your brine. Make sure you cover all the cucumbers in the jar but be sure you keep the liquid and the cucumbers at least 1/4 inch from the top of the jar.
- Press your cucumbers down and try to press out any air pockets that may be in the jar.
- Securely place and tighten the warmed lids on your pickle jars.
- Place your jars into your canning pot with the boiling water and let process for 15 minutes.
- Remove your jars after fifteen minutes and let sit on a towel on the counter to cool.
- Pickles will be ready to eat within 2-3 weeks. Set them in a cool place in the house away from any sun and wait! Most importantly, enjoy!