Thursday, April 23, 2015


by Robin

First off, let me say that this is my Uncle T's mother's recipe.  Grandma K made some awesome hot pickles.  However, today, I just wanted to make a batch of hamburger dill pickles.  

I searched various blue ribbon ones, allrecipes (which had sweet dill) and Better Home and Garden ones.  I mathematically calculated the ratios of vinegar to water, various spices, etc.  You wouldn't believe it, but I even went as so far to check the label of Mt Olive Hamburger Dill Chips!  There was something about that last batch I made that turned everybody in my family off from eating more.

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So, in the end, I ended up back with Grandma K's brine, minus the hot peppers & garlic cloves.  Many years, she used alum and I couldn't find that for a long while.  I just saw it back on shelves.  I will have to pick up some for my next batch.  She would have added 2 tsp of alum to this brine too.

10 c water
4 c  white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is ok, but I use that more for sweet pickles)
1/2 c pickling salt
Peppercorns and mustard seeds (to taste)
(2 tsp of alum)

Pack jars full of cukes.  The smaller, the better for dill chips.  We don't want to play with the seeds in our mouths as we are eating burgers and pulled pork.   Add fresh dill and your pickling crisp granuals (calcium carbonide (?)).    

Also, here's another tip.... I have tried pickling cukes for about 3 yrs now and have given up.  They come out of the garden like little disfigured balls with tails.  My plan this year was just to have a great Burpless Cucumber row and then pick those while they were small.  And, it has paid off in big dividends doing it that way.

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The dill came fresh from the garden.  Wow, it was like packing in evergreen trees!

Pour brine over cukes and get out the air bubbles.  Then, seal up and throw in the big pot for sterilizing.

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Anyhow, I liked that some of the recipes had peppercorns and mustard seed for flavoring the brine.  Toss those in the jar with the brine!

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I sterilized my jars at a full rolling boil for 10 min.  (I saw everything from 5 min to 15, so I took the average.)    I can hear them suctioning down in the kitchen right now!   I love those purple lids.  I hope they offer a different color every year so I can keep my years straight.  Sometimes that sharpie marks wipe off.

Grandma K left notes saying to always allow your dill pickles to set for 8 wks before eating.  Bread-n- Butters can be eaten the next day but dills are better when they set up.

I will be seeing you 'guys' on June 23rd!

Happy pickling!

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