it’s that time of the year– PICKLES! truth be told, i’ve been experimenting with pickling all sorts of random things since the beginning of this year’s growing season. but last week, i showed my mom the joys of larger scale pickling. and by that, i just mean nine quarts of garlic dill pickles. MMMM. nothing like the intense craziness of the canning and pickling escapades of last year with janelle and heather (those days are coming, don’t you worry!) but what a better way to spend a lazy lake day than pickling up some cukes for the fall!?

we’d been planning the pickling for a few days, making sure we were ready to go with the necessities: mason jars, canner, pickling salt, vinegar. on friday, the elk rapids farmers market was in full swing. we went with great hopes for some 1/2 bushels of pickling cucumbers. sadly, there were none! a few pints and quarts around, but not enough for our mission.

no pickles, but gorgeous bouquet from elk rapids farmers market

good thing northwest michigan’s not short on the farms and farm stands. we drove up the rode to altonen’s and were happily greeted with these lovely cukes.

so the pickling adventure began. we sterilized the jars, got the water boiling in the canner, mixed the brine, and sliced the cukes. these are white vinegar garlic dill pickles. so excited for them! but, as many good things, the longer we wait to eat them, the better they’ll be… we’ll see how long we wait it out!

and so it goes. happy pickling to you and yours.

white vinegar garlic dill pickles

3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1/3 cup salt
4 pounds cucumbers (i think that’s what my recipe said… this makes enough for 3 quarts)
3 quart sized mason jars, lids, screw tops
3 heads of fresh dill
3 large garlic cloves
peppercorn (optional)

1. bring the water, salt, and vinegar to boil. fill the canner with water and put it on the stove top on high heat, you’ll need this to be boiling when you’re ready to seal the jars of pickles.
2. meanwhile, slice cucumbers. wash the mason jars and keep sterile in an oven on low heat.
3. when the brine’s boiled, pack the mason jars with cucumbers, dill, garlic, and peppercorn. then pour in brine. make sure to leave an inch of head space. thoroughly clean the rim of the jar, and set the lids on top, and screw on ring.
4. at this point, they are ready to go into the canner. make sure you load the canner evenly so that it doesn’t tip or slip or do anything funny (ha, i know this from experience). let steam for 20 minutes. then remove jars from canner and allow to cool. after 24 hours, unscrew the rings and test to make sure the lids and jars have securely sealed. let them wait for at least 2 weeks, then enjoy!