I started making pickles homemade, because my kids have an allergy to all food dye. If you have ever read the labels of store boughten pickles then you know that they all have dye in them. Clausen pickles are the only ones that I have found that do not, but they are so expensive. It was tragic for my kids because they absolutely LOVE pickles. So we came up with an all natural solution that made everyone happy.
Step 1: Getting Started.
First, you need to gather your ingredients, jars, lids, Boiling-Water canning pot, and any other canning tools that you may need.
To prepare your jars:
Wash your jars and rings in HOT soapy water. Then dry them and set them off to the side. Put your lids in a small sauce pan and slowly bring them to a gentle boil. Let them continually boil gently until you are ready to use them.
3 quarts of Water
1 quart of Vinegar
3 teaspoons of Alum
3/4 cup pickling/canning salt
Then, fill your boiling-water canning pot about 2/3 of the way full and start water coming to a boil.
Step 2: Preparing to Pickle.
Preparing jars for pickling:
De-skin your cloves of garlic. Place 3 heads of fresh Dill into bottom of jars (I cut the dill so that there is about 5 inches of stem with the head of dill). Then place one large clove or 2 small-medium cloves of garlic in bottom of jar. Next, fill your jars with your cucumbers. I use pickling cucumbers fresh from my garden. (In my opinion: If making whole pickles, the best size for taste and crispiness is 3 to 4 inches. If spearing your pickles, then I would use ones that are 4 to 5 inches in length and quarter them.) Make sure to pack your jars tight with your cucumbers. Add one medium clove of garlic to the top of the cucumbers. Then put two more heads of fresh dill on the top.
Making your brine:
Take your 3 quarts of water, 1 quart of vinegar, 3 teaspoons alum and 3/4 cup pickling/canning salt and combine them into a 6 qt or larger pot. Bring this mixture to a boil. While this is coming to a boil you can start preparing your other ingredients into the jars.
Now your are ready to add the boiling hot brine to your jars. Fill with brine until cucumbers and dill are covered. Make sure you leave about 1/2 inch head space.
Step 3: The Final Steps.
Step 4: The Last Stage.
**If Pickles do not seal, just put them in refrigerator for the two weeks and then enjoy.**