For anyone who has made dill pickles before, the vast majority of recipes are for a bushel of cucumbers or more, making upwards of 20 quarts of pickles at a time. While pickles are among the great inventions, processing this many cucumbers at once can be daunting to most.
My Aunt Kathie (God rest her) saw this dilemma, and thought "why not make smaller batches of pickles, one jar at a time, perhaps"? So she sat down with her favorite pickle recipe (one of her own devising) and a calculator, and came up with this pickle recipe... to make one jar of pickles at a time! Perfect for a small (2 or 3 plant) cucumber patch, you can assemble jars of pickles as you grow the cucumbers. Aunt Kathie assembled the jar(s)and put them in storage to age, and they were (and continue to be) fabulous!
Step 1: Get Your Ingredients!
So here's the list of what you'll need:
A hot, sterilized quart jar
Cucumbers (enough to loosely fit into the jar, don't pack them in)
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 heads of fresh dill (dried can be used, about a tablespoon, but fresh is SO much better)
1 1/2c. water
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. pickling salt
1/2 tsp. alum
Step 2: Put It All Together!
Put garlic and dill into the jar. Take the cucumbers and lightly pack them into the jar. They shouldn't be in there too tight. Assemble the brine ingredients and boil them. Fill the jar with brine with a small (1/4") gap. You will probably have brine left over, which is ok. Put a boiled canning lid on and screw a ring down onto the jar tightly. If you did it all right, making sure that the jar, lid and brine are HOT, it will seal of it's own accord.
You can just let them cure at this point for 2-3 months. No processing is required.
Step 3: Enjoy!
After about 3 months, crack a jar and enjoy the dilly, sour fruits of your labors! I once put up ten gallons of pickles like this over a season, and it was marvelous. Let me know how it works for you!