Sunday, July 22, 2012
The first thing I did was assemble my pickling spices. In a small bowl I added dill seed, mustard seed, crumbled bay leaf, peppercorns, mace, fennel seed, pepper flakes, and celery seed.
While I was assembling the spices, I had the pickling cucumbers in an ice bath, in the refrigerator. When ready, I took them out and sliced them with my Pampered Chef cutting tool - like a mandolin.
I sliced them long so that they cover the whole sandwich and not just a little portion!
In a sauce pan, bring 3 quarts water, 1 quart vinegar and 3/4 cup pickling salt to a boil. While you are waiting for that to boil, start assembling your other ingredients: garlic, fresh dill, peppers, and your pickling spices.
In a large pot, boil some water. This will be what you put the pickles in to seal the jars. Also, put your canning jars in the dishwasher to sterilize them and get them hot.
When you are ready, start assembling your jars. Put one garlic head, 2-3 pieces of fresh dill, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice in the jar. Place the sliced cucumbers in the jar.
Add the brine to the jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Make sure to dry off the tops of the jars so that when you put the lids on, they are able to seal.
Put the jars in the hot water bath, making sure that the jars are completely submerged. Boil the jars for 20 minutes and then remove to cool.
When you can the jars should seal as they cool. To make sure they seal, press on the lid. If it "gives," the jar didn't seal. That jar should go into the refrigerator to use first! These pickles will be ready to eat in about 2 weeks.
Canning anything is super easy! If I can learn it, you can to!