The weather has been so beautiful here, and everyone who loves to garden, like me, is having a stellar season for flowers and vegetables!
My tomato and pepper plants are LOADED, my herbs are totally out of control, I’m on my second batch of kale, and my neighbors let us have our fill of their cucumbers that were ripe to pick when they decided to head out on the road and take a little vacation!
We’ve enjoyed a few in some salads that I will be sharing soon, but I really had a blast making pickles!
Though these weren’t “pickling” cukes, I thought that they did just fine for pickles, anyways!
The one herb that I didn’t think to grow, as I had no idea at the beginning of spring that I would be up to my little ears in cucumbers mid-summer, was fresh dill.
So this time I decided to try out some dill seed and see how that worked. *Don’t confuse this with dill weed, (the green stuff)! (*See photo below in saucepan.)
They will have a bit of a different flavor than using fresh dill with the whole heads, but VERY good also!
So to get started, we simply add water, Kosher or pickling salt, regular and apple cider vinegars, dill seed, fresh sliced garlic and just a little sugar into a saucepan.
Heat this to a boil, stirring at first to dissolve the salt and sugar.
While that is coming to a boil, you’re going to add mustard seeds, red pepper flakes and black peppercorns to the bottoms of the jars.
Pack your jars with cucumber spears, and sprinkle some more mustard seeds on top.
When the vinegar mixture comes to a boil, spoon each jar evenly with the garlic pieces, then carefully and slowly pour the hot liquid into the jars.
You may not need it all, and most of the dill seeds will be on the bottom of the saucepan. So just use a slotted spoon and spoon them evenly into the jars, too.
Put the lids on and give the jars a little wiggle so that the garlic and all of the seeds start to distribute throughout the jars.
Then you just leave them on the counter until they cool, and then pop them into the fridge! Is that EASY or what??! 😀 This is the “quickie method” that I enjoy making the most. There’s little fuss, little mess, so few ingredients needed, and they’re sooooo good! Pennies to the jar compared to expensive grocery store prices!
I made two quarts of the dills and can’t wait to dig in to them! (They’re best when they sit in the fridge for at least two weeks before opening….if I can wait that long!)
*And you can slice them into thick slices for burgers, too!! (I like to make a jar of each!)
And the neighbors will get their own jar when they get back! Share and share alike! 😉
So if you don’t happen to have a lot of fresh dill, you might want to try this recipe. Pickling cukes are best for pickles, of course, but you can definitely make these out of regular cucumbers, too. I stick to using the skinnier ones for this, but even the larger ones will work.
Hope your gardens are going strong, and the weather is beautiful wherever you are this summer, too! Enjoy your day!