When I was young my mother would can or freeze fresh produce from her garden. Pickles were one of my favorite foods she would make. These dill pickles were a favorite family recipe that has been passed down for generations.
I say ‘she made’ but in reality she had my brothers and I help make dill pickles every summer. We would pick the cucumbers and she would fill both sides of our kitchen sink, full of cucumbers waiting to be pickled. She had us kids cut the cucumbers into slices and shove them into the canning jars with the garlic and dill. She would make the pickling liquid on the stovetop, following my great grandmother’s dill pickle recipe.
The kitchen and dining room were set up in stages to make 40 or more jars of my family’s favorite dill pickles. My brothers and I were not the only ones who loved our dill pickles. My friends and I would sneak into the basement where they were stored to open a jar and eat them. They were so sour and salty, we loved them!
Nowadays, we continue the family tradition of making dill pickles. We don’t make as many jars or grow our own cucumbers. But my mother has taught my daughter & nieces the family dill pickle recipe, and we all continue to love them.
Eva Brainard’s Dill Pickles
- 2 qts water
- 1 qt (dark) cider vinegar
- 1 c. canning salt
- [boil add to cucumbers in jars]
Wash cucumbers. Slice into strips. Pack in clean jars. Put in bud of dill and clove of garlic. Pour boiling vinegar mix over cucumbers. Use zinc lids and rubber rings. Seal and let work. 2-3 weeks. Liquid makes 6 qt. Dill pickles.
One change we have made to the recipe is halving the salt for the vinegar liquid. It still makes a wonderful pickle with less sodium. We also use regular metal canning lids and rings, as well as zinc.