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Dill Pickles

These are especially associated with Jewish cooking, even in Eastern Europe where they originate. Of course there are lots of versions, including some with plain salt, vinegar and salt, or various flavorings. This is a delicious yet simple recipe. The spices and herbs can be varied, but use at least 4 tablespoons of salt for every 3 cups of water.

ingredients

makes 4 quarts
3 pounds small pickling cucumbers, washed well
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon dill seed
4 white peppercorns
4 whole coriander seeds
4 sprigs fresh dill
7 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup white wine vinegar

method

1. Have ready four 1 quart commercial canning jars with rings and new lids. Wash the jars, rings, and lids thoroughly and put them in a water bath to sterilize while you prepare the pickles.

2. Mix the cucumbers, garlic, spices, and dill sprigs in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the salt, water, and vinegar.

3. Remove the jars from the bath, and pack the cucumbers and spices into them as tightly as possible. Pour in liquid leaving 1/2 inch air space at the top. Stir and poke mixture with a wooden spoon handle to make sure there are no air bubbles in the jar. If one of the jars is only part full, mix up a little more pickling liquid and add it to the jar. Seal the jars.

4. Process the pickles in a water bath. Bring the water to a boil and boil 30 minutes. Let cool, then check seals.

5. Leave pickles at room temperature for at least a week (longer if possible) before opening.

6. They will keep indefinitely. Refrigerate when opened; they will keep 1 week.

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