Every couple of years, my Mom makes pickles (more often and it gets to be too much…too many pickles…too much work…just too much.) This year, I was lucky enough to get to help – with the dill pickles at least…bread and butter pickles will be made on another day. She has to make both types of pickles. There are rules.
My Mom has been making these dill pickles for as long as I can remember. In her recipe book, it says that the recipe is from Canadian Living magazine. I asked her from year it’s from and best I was able to get is late-70s or early-80s. THAT’S how good and reliable this recipe is…
We started by scrubbing the lovely fresh and tiny pickles that my Mom got from the farmers market that morning and sterilizing the jars for the pickles (for full gory details about proper canning techniques and safety, you can see what the Canadian Government says about it here. Basic takeaway, Botulism sucks.) We also started boiling up a triple batch of the pickling solution…the first of many triple batches of the solution…we make a lot of pickles.
Now came the fun part, stuffing hot jars with dill, garlic and as many pickles as you can cram in there.
Note: Let the jars cool a bit. Stuffing pickles into searing hot jars is not fun and it helps to have an aloe plant handy if you are going to attempt it. Cooler jars = less burns.
Once the pickling mixture came to a full boil, we poured some into each jar, cleaned the edges and topped each with a lid that had been boiled briefly.
Now repeat, until you run out of something, get sick of pickling or just want to make a single batch of pickles (my family does everything to the extreme…I won’t judge if you don’t want to.)
For some of the batches, we sliced the pickles with a mandolin (the slicer, not the instrument) before putting them into the jars. You can also cut them into wedges. We also played around with adding spices (mustard seeds, cumin, coriander and/or celery seeds) or some jalapenos to some of the batches. We’ll see how these turn out in a few weeks.
Now the hard part…waiting. The regular pickles take 5-6 weeks before they are ready to eat. The sliced ones should be ready in about 4 weeks, but of course, I want pickles now!
p.s. The garlic will turn blue. Don’t panic. It’s normal.