July 7, 2009

We're going to need more jars


They came off our exuberant cucumber plants a few days ago and now they're safely packed into jars of vinegary goodness. I tried two different recipes this time around, kosher dills (pictured above) and a sweeter, slightly spicier version of dill pickles from the Ball Blue Book, ed. 28 (1969) (below.)

I use the 1969 version because it's the one my grandmother gave me and it hasn't failed me yet. That, and it's contemporary to my canner, which my grandmother also gave me (Thank you, Mamaw.)

There is a heated debate over the water bath vs. cold pack question with kosher dills. The original, decades-old recipe does not call for processing in a boiling water bath after pouring the boiling vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and sealing the jars, but a new addendum (as per the USDA?) does. Everyone that tries the water bath seems to report mushy pickles, so I'm sticking with the original on this one.

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