My maternal grandmother made the best pickles. So spicy and garlicky and delicious! “Regular” dill pickles are barely appealing after tasting these vibrant spicy pickles.
Fortunately, she shared the recipe, and my Mom and I have been making pickles together every few years ever since my Grandma died.
Late summer is usually the time to do this, but our weird weather here in the Pacific Northwest has most crops delayed. I was fortunate enough to score some pickling cukes from my favorite farmers (Big B Farms!) at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market so Mom and I settled in for an afternoon of pickling. We didn’t realize how fortunate we were to get those picklers until we visited a few other farms to get more cukes. No luck. “Not yet, try back next week!” So our crocks aren’t quite full, but that’s OK.
Grandma’s Garlic Pickles
1 head of garlic
3 large stems of fresh dill (the woman at the farm store in Canby went outside and picked it for us!)
3/4 cup pickling spice
25 lbs pickling cucumbers
2.5 cups white vinegar
1.75 cups coarse kosher salt (I’m sure there are many reasons for not using iodized salt, but one is that it will make your brine cloudy and cake-y. Eww.)
10 quarts water
Peeling the garlic was a great job for the kiddos. 2 heads of garlic can take quite a while, but this little rubber doohickey makes it a breeze:
After a few days, scum will start to form on the surface of the water. This needs to be scraped off every day, and in 3 weeks or so we’ll have pickles ready for canning!