Spicy Dill Pickles

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This recipe can be adjusted for amounts depending on how many cucumbers you have to pickle. I modified last year’s Garlic Sandwich Pickles recipe to make this spicy version at my daughter’s request. We had 11 cucumbers and wound up with 5 quart and 1 pint jars. I guess the ratio to the size cucumber we grow/pick is 1 cucumber per pint. Better to have too many jars, lids, rings and brine prepped than not enough as any left overs can be used another time.

4-5 cucumbers
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
3 1/2 Tablespoons natural sea salt (no anti clumping agents or iodine)

3 quart jars (*or 6 pints)

3 teaspoon garlic; minced
12 whole black pepper corns
1 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
3/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 dried chili peppers (or 3/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes)

Sterilize jars by boiling for 10 minutes (if you have hard water like I do pour a Tablespoon of white vinegar in the water to help keep jars clear). Pour boiling water over lids and rings, cover and leave until ready to use.

Bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil and simmer until the salt dissolves and turn off heat.

Prepare cucumbers- cut the blossom and stem ends off and discard (we compost). Cut the cucumbers to the desired shape, I made spears but halves or rounds are fine too. If making spears cut the cucumber to a length that will fit inside the jar to an inch below the rim and save the cut off ends. Cut each log in half then in quarters and place to the side in a bowl or on a plate. Do the same with the stubby ends or simply slice them and place in a separate bowl.

Fill each hot sterilized quart jar with 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 4 whole black pepper corns, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds, 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 chili pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes). *if using pints cut the spice ingredients in half per jar* Fill each spice prepared jar with sliced cucumbers to 1 inch from the rim. I filled on jar with just the ends. Pour the hot brine (vinegar, water and salt) into each filled jar leaving 1/2 inch of head space. (if there isn’t enough brine add a 50/50 mixture of water/vinegar to fill the jars) Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp paper towel, place the lid on the jar and secure with the rings. Place the jars into a water bath, bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Open after 6 weeks when the flavors have matured.

Any extra brine can be saved in a jar in the refrigerator and used another time.

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