10pounds picking cucumbers (4 inches long with ends trimmed)
1 1/2cupspickling salt
2cups white vinegar
Combine all of the dry spice ingredients in a small bowl. In a large clean crock or glass or stainless container, place half of the pickling spice and one bunch of dill. Add cucumbers, leaving at least 4 inches of space between the cucumbers and the rim of the container. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine pickling salt, vinegar, and water.
Bring to a boil and add salt stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. When the brine has cooled to room temperature pour pickling liquid over cucumbers and add remaining pickling spice, garlic, and remaining dill over the top. Place a large clean inverted plate on top of the cucumbers and weigh down with a couple of quart jars filled with water and capped. Cover with a clean towel. Let stand in a cool place the temperature should be about 70 to 75 degrees, let stand for about three weeks.
It will take about three weeks until the cucumbers are well flavored and the fermentation is completed. You will need to check the brine daily and remove any skum that may form. During fermentation, bubbles will form. After about three weeks it will be time to put up the pickles. Prepare your canner, jars, and lids. Drain pickles reserving the brine. Strain brine through a sieve and pour brine into a large stainless steel pot and bring the brine to a boil. When a rolling boil has been achieved to reduce heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Pack pickles into the hot jars leaving 1/2 inch for headspace. Pour hot brine into jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on the jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.
Recipe adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving These pickles go perfectly in my Olivier Salade - Russian Style Potato Salad I had hoped that with each jar that I canned, it would somehow ease the pain of losing someone that I loved. Still, whenever I think of canning I still think of Michael, and how I spent that summer canning pretty much everything that moved. Some people drown their sorrows in alcohol, but that year, I tried to can my way out of grief. I still have a few jars left of the preserves in my cabinet. Now that I have moved back to Texas, I continue to can and prepare my own spaghetti sauce, pickles, and other goodies.