Making Homemade Pickles!

Making Homemade Pickles!

My husband Craig and I love pickles…we always have!! Every year we make homemade pickles, and this year is no exception!! This year however, I have decided to let my 2 1/2 year old son Carson help out!!!

See below for my grandma’s recipe, as well as tips for making your own pickles!!

My adventure making pickles with my son!
It started out with giving the cucumbers a bath!!! Carson absolutely loved this!! He said the cucumbers were having a lot of fun in the bath!! *So cute* We used the shower head to spray the cucumbers, and used a scrubber  to “scrub, scrub, scrub….in the tub, tub, tub!!” Carson had a blast! His shirt says “daddy’s little helper”, however, he was my helper for the day! I cut off the ends and Carson helped me put them in bowls. We put them in the tub again for a second rinse. Carson helped me take them out of the tub, prick them with a fork and fill bowls to then carry over to “daddy”!!

We also had fun cutting and cleaning the garlic. Carson was so curious of the smell, helped me separate the garlic cloves apart–and tried to peel them….and then put them into our bowl of water so the garlic got a bath! “smells good mommy” Carson would say!

While I measured the ingredients, Carson took pride dumping it in the large pot. After all the ingredients were in, we put it to a boil and put Carson to bed. Craig and I were going to finish and told Carson we would have pickles for him to see in the morning!

It was fun including my little boy, sure it might have taken longer, and been more work in the long run….but Carson had a blast and felt like a huge help to me! Can’t wait to try them in a month or two when they will be ready!

Making Homemade Pickles!
The beauty of making your own pickles, you can customize them to your own taste/preferences! Whether it be pints or quarts, dill or sweet, garlic or jalapeno–you choose! My husband loves garlic…so we usually have a few jars with a few extra cloves of garlic in them!

Although we plant our garden, it just makes sense to buy it all fresh and at once as you want fresh cucumbers and we get A LOT at once. We also buy the garlic and dill at the same time/place. This year I bought my cucumbers from St. Jacobs Farmers Market. I like the medium to smaller size as you can fit them into the jar better.

My Grandma’s Homemade Pickle Recipe:

I bought a bushel of cucumbers. It required to multiply my brine batch by 6. This will all depend on how well you stuff your jars, and the size of your cucumbers.

 Ingredients:

  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup coarse salt
  • Garlic, dill (clean)
  • Cucumbers (scrubbed, ends cut off, and pricked with a fork)

Add the water, vinegar and coarse salt together in a large pot to make a hot brine.
While the brine is boiling, fill your jars with a few garlic cloves (we used up to 4 in some), a piece of fresh dill, and then start stuffing in the cucumbers in the jars!!!
Once the brine is boiling and salt is dissolved pour the brine in the jars to fill them.
We tightly close them and put them upside down overnight. This way we can ensure they have properly sealed. (Thanks mom for always reminding me of this tip!)

Some pickling tips:

* Select only ripe, firm, unblemished pickling cucumbers. Mushy cucumbers will not magically become crispy
* Pickling cucumbers have a thinner skin than regular cucumbers, so they are best used within 2 days of harvest
* Use a pickling or canning salt which is pure salt without additives. Table salt has anti-caking agents and iodine which will make your brine cloudy.
* Don’t modify the amount of salt, sugar, vinegar, or water in a recipe. They work together to produce a safe pH level for the pickles and a good flavor balance.
* The jars need to be hot when you fill them. You can run clean jars though a sanitizing cycle in the dishwasher, or fill them with hot water and put them in a pot of hot water over low heat. We wash our jars in hot water so they are clean which helps with this. Don’t heat the jars in a dry oven; this can damage the glass.
*Most pickles need to mature at least a week for the best flavor. Label the finished jars with the date they were made and the date they’ll be ready to eat. We wait a month before we eat ours.

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  1. […] the summer comes to a close, I get into a canning/preserving mode!!! Last week we made homemade dill pickles and this weekend we canned peaches and pears!! See below the easy method to make such a delicious […]

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