Easy, FUN, DIY Pickles

By | August 1, 2013

As anyone who has been following our blog even half-heartedly this summer knows, we are kind of, sort of, obsessed with our current garden project.

We’ve even been posting #DailyHarvest pics on our Istagram accounts. (Mine, Hubs-he’s new so not many posts yet.)

Daily Harvest

And there’s been quite a few posts on the topic. Here, here, here, and here, for starters.

So it’s no surprise that we also wanted to tackle preserving some of our garden goodness for use later in the year. Since we seem to have the most abundance in the cucumber area, the first project we decided to tackle was making homemade pickles.

Homemade Sweet Dill Pickles

I admit that I was a bit skeptical about the entire thing since I’d never done it before and I have no experience canning, but really, it went so fast and was super-duper easy!

(Scroll down to the bottom for the full recipes!)

(Other than the messy kitchen afterward, but what kind of kitchen project doesn’t leave dishes and supplies strewn all about, huh?)

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The first problem at hand is that I didn’t want to can these pickles, and luckily, there’s all sorts of recipes for pickles that don’t need canning!

I used this one, this one, and this one for inspiration. I also happened to have some helpers with me for this project. (You can read more about their visit here.)

Homemade PicklesWe started by slicing the cucumbers thinly using a mandolin. Ours is from Oxo, and we like it a lot for jobs like this.

We let them sit in a large bowl with about a quarter cup of canning salt. We used about four or five medium-sized cucumbers per patch. (We made two batches, one with peppers, and one without.)

I also chopped up a white onion and added it to the bowl, stirring it in to mix it with the cucumbers and the salt. Then, we added several sprigs of fresh dill, also from the garden(!)

Homemade Pickles 12(For the hot version, I added the peppers in at this step as well.)

Peppers

For the brine, we mixed two cups of sugar with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar. Stirring in the spices as well.

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Wait for the sugar to dissolve, stirring constantly.

Homemade Pickles 11After it was all mixed, we poured it over the pickles. (They had been sitting in the salt for about 20-30 minutes at this point.)

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Time for more stirring. Mix it pretty well to get the juices and spices mixed around the slices. Then, it was time to add the pickles to the jars.

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Make sure to fill them up with juice, too.

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We put the lids on and let them sit out on the counter for a few hours before sticking them in the fridge, where they’ll keep for several weeks, or months even.

Ta-da!

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These pickles are a sweet dill variety, so don’t expect the super salty ones like you’d find at the grocery store. And they aren’t as sweet as some sweet pickles you may have had before. Think…somewhere in the middle, but yet a bit more mild.

Homemade Sweet Dill Pickles 3

Just try them, okay? I’d love to know what you think, as this is my first time making them!

Homemade Sweet Dill Pickles 2

(Wyatt wants me to try to make some hotter ones, so that’s next on the list. And I may try to make some straight dill ones.)

Have you ever made homemade pickles? This was my first time, but I’m already wanting to try again and keep tweaking the recipe to find new varieties! I’d love to see your favorite version!

Here’s the recipes:

DIY Sweet Dill Pickles

(Mild) Hot Pepper Pickles “Wickles”

  • 4-5 medium sized cucumbers, sliced thinly (although you could do this in spears, too)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 1 cup chopped hot peppers (keep the seeds in them if you want even hotter pickles!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Mix cucumbers, onions, peppers, and dill in large bowl with salt. Let sit while simmering the vinegar, sugar, and spices. After the sugar mixture is completely melted, pour it over the cucumbers. Add pickles to jars and let sit for a few days (in the fridge) before enjoying! They get hotter the longer they sit, so beware!

Homemade Sweet Dill Pickles

  • 4-5 medium sized cucumbers, sliced thinly (although you could do this in spears, too)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup canning salt
  • 1 cup chopped hot peppers (keep the seeds in them if you want even hotter pickles!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp celery seed
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seed

Mix cucumbers, onions and dill in large bowl with salt. Let sit while simmering the vinegar, sugar, and spices. After the sugar mixture is completely melted, pour it over the cucumbers. Add pickles to jars and let sit for a few days (in the fridge) before enjoying!

 

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