I personally don’t care for pickles. But I love the fact that you can pickle vegetables and make them last a long time and I love that so many of my friends and family enjoy then. Plus Chris likes them. So, every summer we grow cucumbers and beets and when we end up with more than we can eat (because really, a little cucumber goes a long way) we pickle them. The beets aren’t doing great this year– we seem to be very hit or miss with beets. Either we are drowning in them or we really have to dig to find any at all. But the cucumbers are doing well and every week we have a tidy stack that need preserving. We use a very simple, easy pickling method to make garlic-dill or “kosher style” pickles, also called “fresh pack” pickles.
Wash your cucumbers and slice off both ends. You can cut them however you want- we normally do long, slender spears but it’ll probably work with fat quarters, sliced circles or even whole cucumbers, if they are small enough to fit in your jar.
Stuff as many as you can fit into a pint sized glass canning jar. We really cram them in because they shrink a bit over time and if you don’t really fill it up you’ll end up with a sad looking jar of pickle juice with a few forlorn pickles floating around.
Into each jar also stuff in a clove of garlic and a head of fresh dill. These are pretty vague amounts, so feel free to use a big clove if you like a lot of garlic or a small sprig of dill if you aren’t such a fan of the fill flavor, or vice versa.
We like to also add an 1/8 tsp of Ball Pickle Crisp Granules (Calcium Chloride) to each jar. It really seems to make a difference in the crispiness of our pickles, giving them a nice snap when you bite into them.
While you were stuffing your jars, you could have also been preparing your pickle juice. In a pot on the stove combine 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup white vinegar, 2 cup water and 2 TBS kosher salt (any type of non-iodine salt will work). Heat to boiling and then pour into each jar to within 1/2 of the top.
Pop on your lids and your pickles are nearly ready. Now you can store them in the fridge if you plan to eat them soon or you can can them using the hot water bath method (1omin) for longer lasting pickles. They improve with time, but we usually open up the first jar when its about a week old (before that they are just vinegary cucumbers).