If you have ever made pickles with a hot water bath canner, there is a good chance you ended up with rubbery, soggy pickles with no crunch. I did! I tried many different recipes and even tried adding an envelope of some stuff I bought that was supposed to keep your canned pickles crunchy. They were still awful. I had pretty much given up and resigned myself to forever buying pickles from the grocery store which was a real shame since we grow our own wonderful cucumbers every summer.
One summer day about three years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone and lamenting about the sheer number of cucumbers I was getting from my garden when she asked me why I didn't make pickles. I told her of my lack of success in pickle making and she told me about the cold pack pickles she makes every summer. I was shocked! I had never heard of making pickles cold, but I had to admit that it made sense, if you wanted them to stay crunchy. I wrote down the recipe and immediately checked the cupboards to make sure I had all the ingredients, which I did!
I could not believe how easy it was to make these pickles! It did not take any special equipment, all I needed was a large bowl, a knife, a ladel and a jar. It didn't even have to be a mason jar, any jar with a tight fiting lid would do. I decided to use some large containers I had saved from some deli pickles I had bought for my husband. That was another great thing about this recipe, you did not have to make 10 jars at a time and spend a whole day pickle making. My friend's recipe made two jars at a time and took only a few minutes to make. I remember thinking to myself "this has got to be too good to be true!"
Here is what you need:
- 6 to 8 medium or 8 to 10 small cucumbers
- 1 3/4 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill weed or 3 to 4 tablespoons dried dill
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling spice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
- 4 sprigs fresh dill weed or 1 teaspoon of dried
Making them is really easy, here's how:
Last winter, when our pickles ran out and we had none from the garden, my husband was complaining that we had no "good" pickles anymore. The next time I went shopping I picked up some cucumbers at the grocery store and made some! Needless to say, he was very happy and so was I!
If you are a pickle lover, give this recipe a try and I think you will be happy too.
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