So really….I mean who doesn’t love homemade dill pickles? They go on burgers, as a side with a sub or even on some kick ass pulled pork! Really they are the gift that keeps on giving…. So I do have some dills growing in my crazy vegetable garden. Unfortunately only two of them made it into the pickles (that’s them down there…..cherish them). So I picked up some Ontario ones..cause that’s how I roll.
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I make homemade dill pickles every year because they just make people happy….I give them away by the jar….along with my pickled jalapeños. Who doesn’t love canning and jamming. This post is just about the canning part of the equation. If you are looking for a jam recipe, then check out my small batch raspberry jam recipe. Cause damn it, The Hubby loves him some jam….especially my rhubarb strawberry jam (recipe coming soon)….but I digress.
Some once again lets take a moment to appreciate my pickles…..
Now it is time to get all your ingredients together. Start with some lovely fresh dill, fresh garlic. Even a Thai chilli if you are feeling frisky and of course don’t forget your pickles. It’s up to you have you prep them. I did a mix of whole pickles, quarters and slices….that way nobody complains.
I didn’t have enough of my own dill pickles so I grabbed some nice Ontario pickles from the store. In reality I should have hit up my local farmers market but I was lazy and the Metro was closer.
While you are prepping the the ingredients you want to boil a big giant pot of water. It is so important to properly sterilize your jars and lids. I do it the old school way in the boiling water. You can do them in the dishwasher too…..or so the internet says. But I’m sticking with the tried and true old school method.
Get all your other tools together….tongs and a caning funnel. If you have one a jar lifter is mighty handy, I like to live on the wild side and use the tongs. But that’s just me (and I really need to buy a jar lifter).
Fill the jars with the garlic, then dill, a chilli if you want, then jam in the pickles. Top with some more dill and then pour in the hot brine. Screw on the lids and then pop the sealed jars back into the boiling water for 10 minutes to seal them. Take the jars CAREFULLY out of the water and set them on the counter (on a tea towel) to cool and seal. You should hear them popping. Below is one of my jars in all its glory. The little devil pepper is hiding at the bottom…just biding its time…
So funny story. The day I was doing all my pickles a friend came over and was asking me what it meant when the garlic goes blue. I was like whaaaaaaat? Blue garlic??? I proceeded to tell him that I had never had that happen (while wondering what he heck he did wrong) and went to show him my glorious pickles and then….
Holy sweet mother of gawd my garlic was blue! This sent me into a blind panic…
***punching blue garlic into google***
After my panicked research it is benign and won’t kill anyone, which is good news really. The whole freaky blueness is caused when the acid (ie: vinegar) mixes with the garlic. This causes the cell membrane to rupture (I probably sped this up by crushing the garlic). This in turn causes amino acids and sulfur compounds in the garlic to combine. Which then releases (this is a long story) an enzyme called isoallin. This then reacts with the amino acids and causes a blue pigment called anthocyanin…which won’t hurt anyone. So that my lovelies is your science lesson for the day. So go forth and make dill pickles…with or without blue garlic…because we don’t judge.
Homemade Dill Pickles
For the brine
- 2 cups water (distilled or tap…up to you)
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
For the pickles and stuff
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 heads dill
- Thai chilli (if you’re feeling frisky)
- 4-8 cloves of garlic (depending if you. want 1 or 2 per jar….I did 1)
Other things you’re going to need
- Mason jars – you will need about 4 quart jars (I love with these mason jars)
- Large canning pot
- Canning kit (canning tongs, jar lifter, etc…this is a great starter kit)
Prep the jars:
- Fill the large pot with lots of water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling CAREFULLY lower enough of the jars (and lids) to fill the pot and boil for 10 minutes.
- Once the 10 minutes is up, CAREFULLY remove them from the boiling water and place them on a tea towel on the counter.
- If necessary do a second batch….
Make the brine:
- Combine all the brine ingredients (water, vinegar and salt) in a pot and boil until the salt is all dissolved.
Fill the jars:
- In each jar put one garlic clove (crushed or not…it’s up to you), a handful of dill and a Thai chilli if you’r up for it.
- Fill the jar with as many pickles as you can, you want them jammed in as much as possible as this keeps them from floating above the brine OR you can get a pickle pebble.
- Pour the hot brine mixture into the jar (using the canning funnel if you have one) until the brine is approximately 1/2″ from the rim.
- Add some more dill on top and then tightly put the lid on.
- Bring the water to a boil again and then CAREFULLY lower the sealed jars into the boiling water so that they are covered by water and boil them for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and set them aside to cool
- Listen for them popping/sealing (the center of the lid will be indented) if any don’t then pop them in the fridge and eat them first.
Aaaaand…you’re done! Pop these guys into to cupboard or pantry and let them sit awhile so they can get all dilly and pickly. You can then serve them with some pulled pork on lovely soft hamburger buns or a kaiser with a side of coleslaw for a delicious meal! Or just eat them out of the jar…because they are so yummy.
What is your favourite kind of pickle?