With the heat wave this last week, my dill flowered and I saw pickling cucumbers at the farmers’ market, so I decided to make the first of the season’s cucumber pickles. I didn’t can them because I am conducting an experiment. When my grandmother canned dill pickles, she added powdered alum, which supposedly keeps them crisp. I have read that grape leaves have the same effect. So I picked a couple of grape leaves and added them to the jar. This is a refrigerator pickle, so I used a light (3:1) ratio of water to vinegar, went light on the salt, and added a clove of green garlic from our CSA, a sprinkling of hot pepper flakes and the dill.
Pack the pickling cukes in a 1 ½ quart jar with a bale (I got about 12 in there), adding 2 grape leaves, 4-6 heads of dill flowers with stems, and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes. Bring to a boil 4 cups of water, 1 1/3 cup of distilled white vinegar (could use cider vinegar), and 2 tbsp salt, stirring until the salt dissolves. Pour over the pickles and set the jar aside until cool. Refrigerate tightly sealed. The pickles will be ready in about two weeks.
These are my favorite bread and butter pickles. They are what grandma would have made: http://michaelbeyer.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/your-classic-bread-and-butter-pickles-2/
Thanks for sharing Michael. I wrote a later post, for the July Tigress Can Jam on cucurbits, with sweet sweet (bread and butter) pickles and sweet hot pickles. Here’s the link: https://200birdies.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/pickles-sweet-and-hot/
Happy summer, Karen