I must confess, I love pickles...any kind, dill, sweet, hot, half sour, but dill pickles, are my all-time favorite. I could munch on it, just by itself. Why would you want to pay $2.00 for a large dill pickle from the deli, or buy a jar of the refrigerated Kosher Dill's for up to $5.00 for a large jar, or even more! Those pickles are very good, and crispy crunchy, but sometimes they are too sour, too garlicky, or not sour enough. When you make your own brine for your pickles, you know that they are pure...no preservatives, no funny "off" taste, just pure fresh, crunchy dill pickles.
I checked so many different recipes, googled quite a few, but nothing seemed to be what I really wanted. The most important thing is the BRINE, and to make sure the pickles are the freshest, Kirby pickles you can find. The have to be really a nice healthy green color, no blemishes, and be sure they are firm! We find these at this time of the year in South Florida, the best to find is at a local produce market, or of course Whole Foods store.
Fresh Dill Pickles Home Made
my own recipe
2 cups white distilled vinegar
6 cups water
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
4 cloves peeled fresh garlic
1 Tbsp. whole black pepper corns
2 small bunches of fresh dill (cut off bottoms)
6 to 8 Kirby pickles
In a large stainless steel pot, add the vinegar, the water,
salt, pepper corns, and bay leaves. Do not add the garlic or dill at this time, or the dill will get too wilted, and the garlic will get blue spots from the brine. Bring water to a boil, and boil on med. low for about 15 minutes. Shut the heat off, and let it steep for another 15 minutes OFF the heat. Wash pickles real well in the sink, or in a bowl, and take off the end stem, if any. Make sure your jars and lids are sterilized already. You can just run it through the rinse sickle of your dishwasher, or boil them in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes, and let it cool down.
Cut the pickles in half, or in spears, and carefully pack them in the jar, with the clean dill sprigs, and place the 2 garlic clove each, for the two jars, on the bottom. You can now pour the pickling brine almost to the top, making sure you spoon out the pepper corns, and the bay leaves to divide among the two jars. Close the lid tightly, and when it gets cool enough, place them in your refrigerator, for at least 2 days...3 or more days, is even better, up to 1 week to marinade. (I only kept it for 3 days before I opened the jars)
Make sure you check the jars at least twice a day to turn it upside-down, to let the marinade flow through all over!
Keeps up to 4 weeks in the fridge...if it should lasts that long! Very, very good, not too sour, not to garlicky, just right, crispy, crunchy and totally the best pickles, if you love Dill pickles!
Since I'm a "thrifter" I used last year's Christmas wrap to cut about two 4x6 inches of wrapping paper, overlapped the two, placed it on the jar top, placed a rubber band around it, and with plain scissors, cut around it in a zig-zag design. I also purchased a roll of gorgeous bow from Michael's, which is such an amazing store for crafts, and things, for $2.99 on sale, at a 50% discount. Tied a nice bow around it, and my special gift is ready for a special pickle lover recipient! The other jar, I already opened, to keep for myself, and to share with family! (also for my photo shots)
You can use smaller jars, for the pickles, (probably about 4) Recalling one recipe, on the Internet, I really cringed at the thought of up to 10 lbs of Kirby cucumbers, putting them in the bathtub...yuk! Doesn't matter how clean is your bath tub, to me, just is not something I would do. In a clean kitchen sink, with less...let's say about half the amount, maybe up to 5lbs, is more like it! ...but then, you need a lot of empty sterilized jars, and a "cold basement"...which we do not have here, in South Florida, so small amount is the best, and to refrigerate it!
So that's it for now...just a little suggestion for 1 of many, many homemade gifts you can give with "love" and from the "heart"
Thank you for all you kind and loving comments, I appreciate all of you, and just don't go overboard trying to please someone with "unrealistic" spending. You can make a person so happy, just by making something by hand, like crafting, baking a special treat, give a nice picture frame with a favorite photo of yourself or them; any of these gifts cost so little, yet means so much to the recipient you are giving it to!
Hugs, to all!