I've canned bread and butter pickles many times, but this year I decided to give dill pickles a go. I always thought dill pickles had to be fermented in a crock or something like that, but it's not true. They can be canned just like the bread and butter.
I checked my grandmother's 1939 cookbook to find her recipe. She had handwritten a recipe in the back as follows:
• 4 cups water
• 1 cup vinegar
• 1/2 cup salt
Directions: Select small cucumbers. Pack in jar. Add 1 teaspoon mixed spices to each quart jar. Add dill and onion.
Hmmm! Not quite enough to go on. I asked my mom about it and she said her mom water bathed her pickles for 5 minutes. I checked the Ball Blue Book and used (mostly) that recipe:
• 3 1/2 pounds small cucumbers
• 6 tablespoons canning salt
• 4 1/2 cups water
• 4 cups white vinegar
• 14 heads fresh dill (seed heads)
• 3 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
• 14 peppercorns
Directions: Cut washed cucumbers (without peeling) into 1/4-inch slices. Boil salt, water, and vinegar in large saucepan. Pack cucumber slices as tightly as possible into jars, layered with 2 dill heads in each jar. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed and 2 peppercorns to each jar. Pour or ladle hot liquid into jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover and process 7 minutes in your water bath.
I wish I could tell you how they came out, but dill pickles should sit at least six months before using. I will let you know in February how they taste!