Friday, October 26, 2012

Dill Pickles

Hi there! I know you were all sooooo sick of seeing those granny squares...hopefully you won't be seeing these pickles that long!!! :) I've been wanting to make these dill pickles for a very long time. My Great Aunt Emily wrote out my great grandmother's recipe for me at a family reunion in 1994. She made them every summer and always gave a jar of them to my dad for his birthday in July. It turned in a crazy project....I spent days running around trying to find dill....I got some pickles, but not enough. I was nervous to start and kept calling my dad up in Buffalo talking about my dill problem. I had left a message at my aunts...but she never called me back. Here, she doesn't have long distance????? Yikes! But we all determined that it would be best if I drove up to Buffalo for a visit and had a pickle making lesson. So.........I went. I learned they are much easier to make than I thought they would be. First, you need to wash the pickles and let them stand in water overnight. In the morning wipe each one dry with a towel, slice them and pack them in a jar. None of us could determine why we had to dry them....that's just what you do.
You cut up the dill into little pieces and pack that in the jar with the pickles...along with 1/2 of a hot pepper, 1/2 tsp. of alum and a few cloves of garlic.
Here's Aunt Emily (on the right) and her baby sister, Aunt Irene....They had 8 siblings all together. They would help their mother make these pickles for their tavern they serve along with a sandwich.
Be sure to fit as many pickles as you can into each jar.
To make the brine boil 1 1/2 quarts water, 2 quarts vinegar and 1 cup of salt in a big pot until it just boils. Pour this hot brine over the pickles. Then screw on the caps tightly.
Don't they look pretty????? Let them sit for two weeks and they're done! I was sooooo happy they turned out my very first time....because at the end of my recipe Aunt Emily wrote...."Pam, Don't expect perfection on the first try. Good Luck" Well, I lucked out....they're very good. It was one of my very favorite afternoons of the summer....spending time with my family learning to make these pickles. I am happy to carry on the tradition...hopefully teaching someone else someday too. A big thank you to my dad for driving me around to the farmer's market, picking up the aunts, letting us use your kitchen making us lunch! It was fun :)

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