Crunchy Dill Pickles and Labor Day Recipe Roundup

picklesTo say the least, I’m starting to enjoy this canning thing. Even if I’m not saving money at this point (I would be if I were growing my own vegetables to “put up”. Maybe next year!), the satisfaction of preserving the summer’s bounty is certainly a motivator. But even more, the pleasure of opening that jar to find a delicious, perfectly crunchy pickle – one I made myself? It’s a great experience, one I’d choose over buying a jar of store-bought pickles any day.

Of course, after a bit of fumbling around with this pickle recipe, and the other canning attempt for this summer, I was elated to receive a free copy of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, courtesy of Canning Across America. When it came in the mail this week, I was giddy with excitement. (I’m now convinced that my husband thinks I’m nuts – who gets giddy because they have a canning guide? Apparently, I do!) So likely, you’ll be seeing more of these recipes as I dig through that book. I’m hoping to feel like a pro by the end of the season. (Also, hopefully my family and friends won’t start hiding from me when I offer to share the fruits of my canning endeavors!)

Anyway, on to the pickle recipe. I chose not to process these jars in boiling water, as I wanted to keep as much crunch in the pickle as possible. (I am not a fan of those floppy, soft pickles you sometimes find in the stores!) So, as a result, these will have to be kept under refrigeration. However, if you choose to process them, place them in enough boiling water to cover by 2-3 inches once the jars are sealed, and allow to process for about 10-12 minutes. Once removed and cooled, as long as the lids have “popped” and are sealed, they should be shelf-stable for a long time.

For the pickling spice:

1 T coriander seed

1 t allspice berries

1 T black peppercorns

1 ½ t dill seed

1 t celery seed

4 crushed bay leaves

Mix all spices together. Unused pickling spice can be kept for6 months.

To prepare the pickles:

2 c white vinegar

2 c apple cider vinegar

4 c water

1 T sugar

2 T salt

4 t pickling spice

4 lbs pickling cucumbers, sliced or cut into spears

2 banana peppers, sliced

3-4 serrano peppers, sliced

8-9 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 T chopped fresh dill

Bring vinegars, water, sugar, salt, and pickling spice to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until salt and sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, wash and rinse 7 or 8 pint-size canning jars and lids, and add to a large pot of simmering water to keep warm and sterilized. Once your pickling liquid is ready, remove jars from water, and divide cucumbers, peppers, garlic, and dill among the jars. (you may have to use a butter knife to coax some of the cucumbers into the jars) Pour pickling liquid into each jar, leaving about ¼ inch headspace at top of jar. Place lids on jars and screw on tightly. Let cool on counter until room temperature, and store in refrigerator. Let the cucumbers remain in the refrigerator for at least a week before eating.

P.S. – Just in case you’re looking for Labor Day recipes, I’ve gathered some of my favorite gluten-free recipes (some are my own, some are favorites from blog friends) to share!

Appetizers

Mac-Nut Hummus

Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus

Meats/Grilling/BBQ

Smoked Pork Ribs

Texas BBQ

Farmer’s Market Burger with Grilled Red Onion Relish and Peppered Tomato Mayonnaise

Summer Hobo Dinner

Sides

Mediterranean Pepper Salad

Southwestern Coleslaw

Summer Succotash

Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Cranberries

Hatch Chile Potato Casserole

Desserts

Gluten-Free Peach Pear Crisp

Butterscotch Ice Cream

Gluten Free Sugar Free Cherry Clafoutis

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks so much for including my clafoutis in your round-up! You have quite a tasty spread here!

    I did my first official canning session this summer and I loved it. I made jam – haven’t tried pickles but someday I will. :) I did buy tons of mason jars and have started storing my pantry items in those instead of plastic. I wish I could say that I was motivated by the benefits of glass vs. plastic but honestly I wanted a more economical solution. I can get 12 jars for $9 and store tons of stuff. It would cost me almost $50 in SnapWare.

    I hope you have a fabulous Labor Day!!!

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Amy – I’ve been using mason jars for a long time in my pantry, but I’ve just recently been acquiring other jars from items that we use up (mayonnaise, etc) and repurposing them to hold beans, rice, etc. Can’t say I’m giving up plastic (it’s just so much easier to tote around plastic in my lunch bag), but I’m slowly converting!

  2. says

    Oh man, I wish this had been posted a few weeks ago when I was practically drowning in cucumbers!! I have been wanting to make pickles for some time. I TOTALLY agree with you about the crunchy ones vs. floppy ones. Cold crunchy pickles are the way to go. And the more garlicky the better, mmm.

  3. says

    Oh jeez… those are gorgeous. *mouth watering* They would make Martha Stewart jealous — she’s always canning and preserving things on her show and in her magazine! I always loved pickles. Sometimes I wonder if I’d just order deli sandwiches for no other reason than to get the lovely briny deli pickle they’d serve with it.

    • tastyeatsathome says

      Wasabi Prime – wow, you’re making me blush (with the comparison to Martha Stewart)! Her stuff looks so pretty, so I’ll take that as a compliment!

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