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.


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.


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:


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.


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

It was a long 24 hours.


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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