Dill Spears

DSC_002812 pint jars (or 6 quarts)
2 Tablespoons white vinegar (optional)
12 new lids and rings

5-6 quarts of cucumbers; sliced into spears

6 cups white vinegar
6 cups water
6 oz natural sea salt (no iodine or anti-caking agents)

per pint jar (double if using quarts):
2 Tablespoons worth of whole fresh dill sprigs
1 clove garlic; halved
1/2 Tablespoon mustard seed (I used brown but any kind will do)

Place jars in  a canning pot, cover with water, add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar (optional, it keeps the jars “clear” if you have hard water), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to sterilize. Turn off heat and leave jars in the hot water till ready to use.

Bring a medium pot to a simmer, remove from heat, place lids in hot water and cover till ready to use.

Prepare the brine- place vinegar, water and salt into a pot and bring to simmering and stir until the salt has dissolved. Leave covered until ready to use.

Prepare cucumbers- cut off stem and blossom ends. Cut into spears that will fit into the canning jars an inch below the rim. My cucumbers were long enough to cut in half crosswise then into quarters or thirds lengthwise depending on their thickness.

Place the dill, garlic and mustard seed into the bottom of the hot sterilized jars. Pack tightly with prepared cucumbers. Pour hot brine into filled jars to 1/2 inch below the rim. Wipe rims with a clean damp piece of paper towel. Put warm lids in place and secure with the rims. Place finger tightened jars into the canning pot with the still hot water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes, remove jars from heat and allow to cool. Be sure that the jars have sealed, there should be no play when pushing on the lid. Store for 6 weeks for the flavors to mature.

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