When Life Hands You….. Cucumbers?

Buoyed by my tasty success with Blueberry Basil Jam, I hit up the farmer’s market last weekend for ingredients to make Food In Jars’ Garlic Dill Pickles.

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The cast of characters included clean canning jars, whole garlic cloves, dill seed (not weed!), crushed red pepper, peppercorns, cucumbers, pickling salt, and apple cider vinegar.

Y’all, I didn’t even know dill seed was a real thing. I thought for sure it was a typo in the recipe – especially after I searched high and low at Publix and Fresh Market with zero success. You know where I found dill seed? Wal-mart. I KNOW.

As it turns out, pickles are way easier than jam. You distribute your spices and slices between jars, then fill with a hot brine (water + vinegar + canning salt) and process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

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With the assistance of my laboratory helper, Jennifer, we distributed the spices, garlic cloves, and cucumbers between 9 jars. The recipe calls for 1/4 tsp. red pepper per jar, with a big asterisk. I used about 1/8 tsp. per jar, and the pickles were still quite spicy. (Jennifer loved them this way.)

Here they are, ready for brine:

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I only had enough dill seed for 9 jars, which left me with 6 leftover cucumbers. I made a second batch (8 jars) on Monday night after procuring more dill seed. I sliced the cucumbers on the mandoline and used just a pinch of red pepper flakes per jar, and they were perfect.

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After processing, the pickles need to sit for 24 hours so that they can, well, pickle.

It was a long 24 hours.

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Tyler gives these pickles two thumbs up. He’s already consumed most of a jar, all by himself. Thank goodness we have 16 jars left….

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