The best thing about pickle season besides the pickles are my lilies. Mother nature rocks!
Getting used to living in the country has been bumpy.Trying to remember every item, during my weekly shopping marathon, that we might need for the following week has me constantly writing lists. More often than not, I forget the lists at the farm leaving me vulnerable to impulse shopping. I’ve been a city dweller for so long that I’ve become spoiled by the convenience of nearby shopping. At the farm, we’re a good hour away from anything more than a convenience store. This is a long preamble to my venting over forgetting to buy new canning jars. It’s pickle season and I’m recycling pantry jars – the jars that I keep nuts, dried fruit and stuff in – to use for my pickles. I will get better at farm living!
I’ve been diligently picking small cukes for dill pickles but as thorough as I think I’m being inevitably I miss some. I found a few monsters today. Way too big to stuff in a jar so I quartered them and made dill pickle spears. As long as the seeds haven’t developed inside the cucumber, you’re good to go. To jazz the spears up a little, I added a few dried hot peppers to each bottle. Spicy dill pickle spears are deadly with any kind of sandwich!
Spicy Garlic Dill Pickle Spears
makes 6 quarts
12 – 6” pickling cucumbers – overgrown
3 quarts water
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup coarse salt
6 fresh dill weed flower heads
6 cloves of garlic
6 whole dried hot peppers
Wash and dry cukes.
Bring vinegar, water and salt to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes.
Pack cukes into sterilized bottles*.
Add 1 garlic clove, 1 dried hot pepper and a head of dill to each jar.
Pour hot vinegar mixture over packed cukes leaving 1/2″ head room and seal.
*Follow manufacture’s directions for sterilizing bottles and lids.
Keep pickles in a dark and cool place for 6 weeks before using.
THE LOVE: Use the freshest cucumbers possible. If the cukes have been picked longer than a day, soak them in an ice water bath for 1 hour to crisp them up before packing in the jars. Also the garlic may turn blue or green in the jar. Nothing to worry about, it’s only the effect of the acid on the natural pigments in the garlic.
Thanks for reading.