When fall comes around, it's jar city around our house. Beets, Relish, Jams, but my favourite is the fermented stuff. Dill Pickles, topping that list.
As a kid I hated pickles. I still think they ruin a Cheeseburger, but on a chicken burger... Now that's another story.
Fun fact about pickling; the secret to a crunchy pickle is tannins, you know, like in wines. And there are 3 things that have tannins that are used in pickling. Sodium Meta Bisulphite (which is used in commercial pickling and nullifies any probiotic benefit you would get from any homemade pickle), Turmeric (which has a taste and changes the colour of the pickles. Often used in bread and butter pickles), and Grape leaves (not much flavour but a little harder to find). Or, you can do as my mom does, and leave them all out together.
Makes 8-9 jars
15 Cups water
5 cups white vinegar
1 cup pickling salt
Place ingredients in a large stock pot, dissolve salt and bring to a boil.
In cold water, wash and scrub 10 lb of pickling cucumbers, trimming ends.
Sterilize large mason jars in an oven at 250 degrees on a tray for 10 minutes and into each jar, place;
1 small bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1 clove of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp of red chilli flakes
1 head of fresh dill springs + flowers
1-2 grape leaves (optional)
Fill jars with Cucumbers and pour the hot pickling liquid over top, to cover.
Boil Mason jar lids in a small stock pot with water to sterilize.
Seal jars, store in a dark room in or basement for 6 weeks.