Sunday, August 05, 2018

Dill Pickles

It's been a while since I canned anything for myself...since the kids have moved out, we just haven't gone through the pickles as fast as we used to do, even though they are always asking for a jar when we visit.   Andy  noticed he was taking the last jar out of the canning cupboard when he was making some tuna salad the other day, so I decided it was time.   I also need to make some thimbleberry jam and some salsa, and I have been thinking about canning some chicken breast as well in the pressure canner.

My favorite pickle recipe is one I came up with in 2010 when I was part of this canning group of bloggers called Tigress' Can Jam.   I wonder what happened to Tigress?   She was a Brooklyn based food blogger and DJ and her blog is no longer.   But I met so many other bloggers there, and clicking through the list so many are not doing it anymore.   They typical pattern is they stop posting, then get the idea to move their blog over to Word Press from Blogger, and then it dies.  I fear food blogging is a dying form, but I'm still at it.   I can remember back at the height of food blogging, I'd post about once a week.  Now, it's about once a month.   We used to have a group of food bloggers called Michigan Lady Food Bloggers that would get together for potlucks and I think I might be the only one that is still blogging.   Sad!

Here's my pickle recipe...I was trying to recreate something that tastes like McClure's Pickles. 

 McClure's Style Fresh Dill Pickles

8 lbs small pickling cucumbers, sliced in half or quarters longwise
28 cloves of garlic (about 2 heads) peeled
16 dill heads, with sprigs (or 14 t. dill seeds)
Pickle Crisp
Optional 12 small dried hot chili peppers
5 cups vinegar (white or cider)
6 c. water
1/2 c. pickling salt

Place 2 cloves garlic. , 2 dill heads and 2 hot peppers and 1/8 t. Pickle Crisp in the bottom of wide mouth pint jars.   Pack with as many pickle halves and spears as possible tightly in each jar.  Prepare a brine with vinegar, water and salt by placing in all ingredients and stirring and heating until brine boils.  Fill jars to 1/2 inch headspace, place lids and bands and hand tighten. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I used to make these with a wild grape leaf tucked into each jar, but didn't bother with it yesterday.   Grape leaves are supposed to help keep pickles crisp.   I like to use Ball's Pickle Crisp  to help keep my pickles crisp these days when I am canning.

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