Between weekend travels, house decorating, and loads of work, I somehow tried to squeeze in some last of summer pickling. I happen to have a special place in my heart for dill pickles. They were a constant in my home growing up as my brother LOVED pickles as much as a dog loves bones. So, by default, I had them a lot too.

This year I decided to give pickling some cucumbers a go. I did not realize that it was so simple to pull together, and quite honestly, it took about 15 minutes hands on time! That's my type of canning! I will most certainly be pickling more next summer as it is really easy, and maybe I'll even try sweet pickles, as Jack likes them.

I have not tried my pickles yet, but if they are anything like all of the other recipes in Put 'Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton, then I have no doubt they will be tasty. If you are a newbie to home canning, this is a terrific book to have. I love it because the recipes are all super simple, and are more current than those in the Ball Canning Book. Try it out!

Dill Pickles from Put 'Em Up

5 lbs cucumbers, ends removed, and cut into spears that will fit into the jars you are using
1/2 c salt
2 c of ice cubes
4 c distilled white vinegar
2 c water
2 tbsp sugar
8 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp dill seed (or use fresh dill, which I did)
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp peppercorns

1. Layer the cut cucumbers with salt in a large bowl and cover with ice cubes. Set aside for at least 2 hours. Drain rince, and pack into already hot jars. I suggest to start boiling your jars at the 1.5 hour mark. This way your jars will be hot just as your cucumbers will be done draining.

2. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, dill seed (or fresh dill), celery seed, and peppercorns in a medium nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a boil. When at boiling stage, pour the brine over the spears which are in the jars already. Leave about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.

3. To can using the boiling water method, release the trapped air, wipe the rims clean, and put the lids and screw bands on the jar. Process in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat source, remove the canner lid, and let the jars rest in the water for 5-10 more minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let sit, undistrubed for 24 hours. Check the seals and then store in cool, dark place for up to a year.

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