I was reading 1gdcowgrl's blog the other day about her mom's homemade pickles and I knew right away that I was going to buy pickling cucumbers at my Farmer's Market the next day!
I went to the grocery store in the morning and purchased pickling salt and alum. I always have a giant jug of vinegar on hand, because I use it to clean :) I also decided to make mine in smaller jars so I could give some away to friends and family.
I started the process by running my jars through the dishwasher and washing my cucumbers.
I'm growing dill in my garden this year, but I only had three dill heads, so I just used a bunch of fresh dill in addition to the dill heads.
I layered my jars with cucumbers, dill, and garlic while the vinegar/water mixture was heating. I sprinkled the top of each jar with the alum. Since I split the recipe into several jars, I just measured the alum called for into a small dish and used a 1/2 tsp to divide it between my jars.
I did also add peppercorns and red pepper flakes to a few of my jars. Then, I ladled the vinegar mixture into each jar until they were full to the brim!
Day 1: All the jars loaded and sitting on my counter for 24 hours before refrigerating. The hardest part of this process is knowing you won't get to eat them right away!!
Day 2: Notice how they are starting to look more like pickles instead of cucumbers!
Day 3: We're getting closer!!!
Day 4: I sampled them and I thought for sure they were goners. They tasted like metal with a terrible after taste and the centers were still crisp with a sweet cucumber taste. After going through all the trouble of making them, I decided to let them sit for a couple of extra days and try them again before pitching them. I'm glad I did!!!
Day 6: I sampled one tonight and they are delicious! I like the ones that I added the red pepper flakes to the best. Not spicy, but just a little extra punch. I have seven jars....who wants one?! :)