Sunday, June 20, 2010

Canning - Della's Sweet and Sour Dill Pickles

This recipe is very sentimental to me. It's the one I have made faithfully for 33 years - wow, that long! It's the one my children love above all others. It was shared with me by a dear elderly woman who has long since left us. I give it to you exactly as it was taught to me...with love. Enjoy!
Makes 9 Pints (or Double the Recipe for Quarts)
Always start with freshly sterilized jars, lids and rings and have your canning water heating. Wash and boil 9 pint jars, lids & rings.
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
  • 4 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 scant c. Salt - Not Iodized
  • 1 qt. Vinegar
  • 2 c. Water
While waiting for syrup to boil, prep vegetables in the following amounts.
  • 1 thick onion slice per pint - (2 per quart)
  • 1 (2 inch) piece of celery per pint - (2 per quart)
  • 1 head fresh dill per pint - (2 per quart)
  • 4+ lbs Cucumbers in chunks - cut in half lengthwise, then in 2" pieces Fill each jar with the vegetable ingredients in the following order: For Pint Jars - place 1 onion slice, 1 piece celery and 1 head dill in bottom of jar and fill with cucumber pieces. For Quart Jars - place onion celery and dill in bottom of jar and also on top of cucumber pieces.Pour the hot liquid into the packed jars. Wipe the jar rims with a clean damp cloth, add lids and rings and screw down only 'comfortably tight'. Put sealed jars into canning rack and lower into hot canning water - enough to cover the tops by about an inch. Bring to the boiling point. Do not boil. Immediately, take the jars from the hot water and set them close together on a folded towel. Cover with an old coat until they are cold. Let age 30 days before using.
Now that I'm in Florida, there are no "old coats" so a heavy, old bedspread, folded in many layers makes a cozy cover. Once the jars are completely cool, often 18-24 hours, check to make sure all the lids are properly sealed, remove the metal rings and wash the jar threads before putting them away.
Just a couple of personal notes: For storing the jar rings, I've taken a single strand of wire, a coat hanger would do, and twisted a loop for hanging on one end and attached a jar ring with a hook of the wire at the other end. All the rings thread onto the wire and hang within easy reach during the canning season. For winter storage, the two ends of the wire are brought together and the hook is pinched around the loop, making a neat bundle. Also, since my kitchen storage space is limited and because I really, really like looking at my handiwork, the filled jars are stored on display above the cabinets.

The University of Colorado has a "quick-read" overview of the pickling/canning process with a couple of recipes. Link HERE.


Anonymous said...

thank you! thank you! thank you!! i LOOOOVE these pickles!

Sarah said...

oh thank you thank you.. off to share links, I am so making these - after I can up some applesauce - you dont happen to have those on hand for a pictoral step by step now do you? (kidding aside) these are my favorite pickles, and you take out all the guess work with these easy to follow steps, thanks!