We finally cracked open the first jar of dill pickles that we canned back in August. They are pretty good...a little salty and not quite as crunchy as I'd like, but I'd definitely make them again.
8 lbs. 3-4 in long pickling cucumbers
4 c white vinegar
12 c water
2/3 c pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill head or dill seed (we used dill seed)
1. Wash cukes, trim off blossom end and place in an ice bath for at least 2 hours.
2. In large pot over med-high heat, combine vinegar, water, and pickling salt; bring to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp. dill seed, and enough cukes to fill the jar (really cram them in there). Then add 2 more garlic halves and a dill sprig.
4. Fill jars with hot brine and seal.
5. Set aside and wait for the lids to pop. It may take a while and it may require a light finger tap on the lid. (Note: we did not do the hot water bath as called for in the recipe. Based on the reviews, this makes the pickles soggy.)
6. Let sit for 8 weeks before eating.
Variations: add jalapeno slices, crushed red pepper seeds and/or mustard seed