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My Own Kosher Dill Pickles

It always tickles me when I find a pickling cucumber
in my garden that has been overlooked and has become HUGE.
That HUGE cucumber becomes our "anniversary pickle".
It usually fills just one big quart jar and
we eat it every year on our wedding anniversary!!!

Below is my very own recipe:

4 pounds pickling cucumbers
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoons dill seeds or fresh dill heads
bay leaves
3 cups water
3 cups white vinegar

In a bowl, pour boiling water over your vacuum lids, set aside.
Wash cucumbers & remove blossom ends.
Combine kosher salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, chopped garlic,
dill seeds, water & vinegar in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling.
Pack hot, sterilized jars with cucumbers, whole or spears.
Top with a bay leaf & sprig of dill head, if used instead of seeds.
Fill jar with brine leaving inch headspace.
Wipe rim and threads with a clean, damp cloth.
Seal with two-piece vacuum caps. Center heated lid on jar.
Using mitten-type pot holders or a clean towel,
screw band down evenly and firmly until
a point of resistance is met fingertip tight.
Submerge jars in a boiling water bath. Process for 10 minutes.
Remove at once when 10 minutes are up. Set jars upright on a towel to cool.
Do NOT retighten bands or check for a seal while jars are hot.
After 24 hours, check lids for a seal. Sealed lids curve downward.
Press the center of the lid to ensure it does not flex up or down.
(Reprocess or refrigerate any unsealed jars.) Remove bands.
Wipe jars and lids with a clean, damp cloth and dry.
Wash bands in soapy water, dry and store.
Label and store jars in a cool, dry, dark place.
For best quality, use within one year.
Ready to eat in 2-3 weeks. Yield 2-3 quarts.
You can also use this recipe for green tomatoes or okra.
Note: If you have hard water, use bottled, distilled water.
Hard water makes soft pickles.

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