Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sanford Family Dill Pickles

This pickle recipe has been in my family for Generations!! They are Kosher Dill Pickles made with a salt brine and not vinegar. Garlicky and yummy, they are a family tradition. My dad used to make them with his parents and his grandparents made them too, I don't know how many more generations back they go, but they are the typical recipe for Kosher Garlic Brined Dills, so I am sure our family didn't invent them, but we sure love them!! I grew up making pickles with my dad and when I had kids I taught them the recipe and how to make them (and hubby, who loves them and is a fantastic pickle maker now!!).
This is a great activity for the kids as they can help with all the steps and the daily shake and check is always fun. It is like magic how green cucumbers turn cloudy and dark and turn into sour dill pickles. Pure Magic!!

Sanford Family Dill Pickle Recipe

Per Quart of Pickles
2 stalks Dill -- divided
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt -- heaping
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1 quart pickling cucumbers -- as many as will fit in a wide mouth quart jar
2 cloves garlic (the individual cloves, not heads)-- peeled, to taste (2-3 cloves, more or less depending on how garlicky you like your pickles.-- I sometimes slice up the bigger cloves and cut in half smaller cloves and put the pieces in, that helps give it more garlic flavor.)
1 red chile pepper -- dried (optional, to taste, if you like a little heat add one, for hotter pickles add more dried peppers-- I use dried arbol peppers)
**cold water

For each quart of pickles use a clean (preferably sterile) wide mouth quart jar with a lid and screw cap. Fold up one stalk of dill and push into bottom of quart jar, covering the bottom of the jar (use more dill if needed to cover bottom of jar).
Fill jar with cucumbers, tightly pack as many as will fit up to the lip (below where the threads for the lid start) of jar.
Add one heaping Tablespoon of kosher salt and one teaspoon of pickling spice to jar.

Push cloves of garlic into areas around cucumbers (try to evenly disburse them around jar) and add the hot pepper(s) to jar. Fold up remaining stalk of dill and push into jar on top of cucumbers to cover.

Fill jar to lip (below the area where the threads start for screw top) with cold water, covering cucumbers and dill. Make sure cucumbers are covered, sometimes you have to really fill the jars with water to get the cukes and dill covered, that is ok (just make sure you use a pan under the jars as explained below).
Place lid and screw top on and tighten screw top by hand till tight (you don't need to overtighten). Shake jars to distribute salt and spices and help the salt dissolve.
Place filled jars on counter or table with a pan or several layers of paper towels underneath to catch any possible leaks.
Shake jars once a day and check to make sure lid has not come loose due to the fermentation process. The brine will start to turn cloudy after a while, and the cucumbers will go from bright green to a darker green, this means they are working and turning to pickles. Pickles will be ready to eat in one week (we go 10 days to start), but are even better if you wait two weeks. Refrigerate after opening.
They will last several weeks in the fridge once opened (however, we can never keep them around that long). They will last for several weeks or even longer before opening jars, but they are not actually preseved via a canning method for long term storage. After too long the cucumbers tend to get very mushy. They are best if you eat them 2-4 weeks after making them. Enjoy.

I have attached three pictures of the jars we made. The brightest green is one made today (the picture on the far left), the middle picture is slightly green but darker and cloudy and was made 2 days ago, the last jar (the far right picture) is one that is 9 days old (almost ready to eat).


1 comment:

Lunds said...

Evan, the youngest member of the family at 22 months tried a Sanford Family dill this week and devoured it. Another pickle fan, it must be in the genes.