A lazy, unscientific summer project. I don't usually have a measured amount of cucumbers to start with- I just make up the brine and fill up the jars as the cucumbers ripen. If you're buying cucumbers at a Farmer's Market, just process them, making brine as you go until your jars are full! Unused brine may be stored in the refrigerator until needed. We usually make several jars of pickles every other day, picking cucumbers when they're a good pickle size and storing them in the fridge until there's enough for a few jars. 1 batch of brine makes about 4 litres/ quarts of pickles.
7 cups water
1/2 cup coarse, pickling salt
2 cups white vinegar
fresh dill weed stems
Wash (scrub) cucumbers and trim ends. Peel garlic and cut off root end. Rinse dill, if necessary.
Wash canning jars and lids. Place clean jars in the oven at 225* F for 12 minutes (and until needed) to sterilize. Place snap lids in a pot and cover lids with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes to sterilize, then keep warm on the back of the stove.
While jars and lids are being sterilized, boil water, salt and vinegar together until the salt is dissolved. Keep it at a low simmer while you continue.
Using oven mitt or tongs, take one jar at a time from oven; Press dill into jar- a largish cluster with seeds and a few of the furry bits. Place at least one large, peeled garlic clove, (but not more than 2) into jar. Pack the jar with clean cucumbers. Be careful, and remember the jar is hot.
When jar is packed, ladle hot brine over cucumbers, giving time for the liquid to settle. Use the handle of a spatula to stir out air bubbles. Fill jar with brine to cover cucumbers.
Carefully lift a snap lid from the hot water, (use small tongs or a canning utensil with a magnet on the end) and secure the lid with the ring sealer. Tighten firmly by hand, and set jar on a towel covered surface to cool.
When liquid cools, the lids should snap down, showing that they are sealed. Use unsealed jars first. Cucumbers will change colour from fresh green to... pickle colour as they cure. Best if left for at least a week.
1 batch brine will fill about 4 pint/ quart jars.