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Grandma Alice's Kosher Dill Pickles
Our Favorite Family Recipe

These cucumbers were a part of what got me gardeningómy grandmother Alice Glazer grew pickling cukes and made many jars of these kosher dills every summer. My dad loved them so much that he actually bought a second refrigerator to put out in our garage to store extra jars of pickles! Now I make them myself each season to enjoy out of the refrigerator for months after harvesting is over.

Use carefully washed and dried wide-mouth 1 quart canning jars:

Small fresh pickling cucumbers, no longer than 3-3 Ĺ inches long maximum. Plan on about five to eight per jar. ( In the East, pickling cucumbers are called Kirby cucumbers. Do not use regular salad cucumbers).

Pickling and brining ingredients:   Put into bottom of each jar:

3-4 good-sized leafy stems of fresh dill with or without seed heads
1 very full tablespoon Kosher salt (do not use regular salt)
1 tablespoon Mixed Pickling spices (available on spice shelf at supermarket)
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 fresh Serrano or Jalapeno chile, or one small dried hot chile
1 small bay leaf
1 fresh grape leaf , any size (this keeps the pickles crispy, and is really the secret ingredient that makes these pickles so good. You can use grape leaves from any grape vine, just be sure they weren't sprayed with herbicide or pesticide and wash them first.)

After filling each jar with the pickling ingredients, turn on its side and stuff in the cucumbers, packing them in tightly. It's OK to cut the final cucumber in half if you need to squeeze it in. Be sure to leave 1 inch headspace in each jar so brine will totally cover the pickles.

Add water to the top of the jar, making sure all the pickles are well covered and the water level comes above them by an inch or so. (Use non-chlorinated water only. If your tap water has chlorine in it, let it sit overnight first, so the chlorine will evaporate.) Close jars with clean 2 piece canning lids. No need to over-tighten them, just close securely. Shake jars gently to dissolve the salt into the water.

Let pickles sit for at least 7 days out of the sunlight. They will change color to a more yellow-green and get cloudy and some yeasty material will form at the bottom of each jar. Donít worry about these normal parts of the fermenting/pickling process. After a week, open and taste test the pickles to see if they are pickled enough to your liking. If not, let them sit out another 5 to 7 days.

When they taste the way you like them, put the jar in the fridge, as this slows further pickling way, way down and they will hold for a long time. Enjoy the pickles from the fridge; they will keep just fine for several months, very slowly getting spicier and more pungent. I like to serve these crunchy pickles thinly sliced, but my dad ate them whole right out of the jar!

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