First, find yourself a few pounds of pickling cucumbers. These are small varieties especially made for pickling – I’ve had better luck finding them at farmers markets than the grocery store. If you grow your own cukes and want to pickle them, make sure to only use the ones that are small, firm, and darker green. Last summer I grew “asian cucumbers” and they worked beautifully too- they were very dense and had small seed cavities. Wash your cukes and set them aside. Next, bring to boil in a big pot:
4.5 cups water
4 cups white vinegar
6 tablespoons canning salt
I have found that most very very good recipes (i.e. my gramma’s baked beans) contain moments of imprecise-ness. Here is where this recipe allows for personal interpretations. You’ll need some faith in your ability to estimate the spice ratios. You can do it!
In each (previously washed) canning jar, put approximately:
2 bay leaves
big sprig of fresh dill
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1-3 dried chili peppers
a couple cloves of fresh garlic
a pinch each of whole coriander and whole allspice
Fill each jar nearly to the top with boiling vinegar/salt solution. Put the lid on, put them in the fridge, and wait a week or so. From what I’ve read online you’re only supposed to keep the jars around for a few months. If you and yours love dill pickles then it’s no concern because they’ll be gone much sooner. Since I’m the only dill-pickle-eater in my house sometimes it takes me a while to eat through them. In case you’re in the same situation, I can assure you that I’ve eaten them 6-8 months later with no ill effects (if anything, they tasted even better!).