Canning season is among us! Every time I go out to the garden I’m greeted with rows and rows of bush beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh herbs, okra, I could go on and on… For a second I stop to think, “Man, this is really beautiful! And amazing that we’re growing so much food!” But then I’m like, “Holy expletative! This is a lot of food! I need to can this ish.” So now after I spend my day in the gardens, my nights are filled with wedding planning and canning/preserving recipes. After taking a quick straw poll of everyone who is a frequent visitor and therefore will be eating pickles whether they like it or not in the winter months, I found that there was no general consensus as to whetherÂ I should make kosher, spicy, garlic or ‘whatever’ kind of pickle. So I took matter into my own hands and came up with our own blend of kosher, garlic dill and spicy pickles. And so was born the Such and Such pickle.
We did a water bath canning method, so if you’re familiar to that, then kudos to you! If you’ve never done a water bath canning before, no big deal! There’s a first time for everything. We’ll do a more detailed step-by-step process in a future post.
Here’s What You Need:
- Pickling cucumbers (this year we’re growing Boston Picklers from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds and they’re awesome)
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 4 tablespoons pickling/canning salt
- 3 tablespoons pickling spice
- 9 cloves garlic
- fresh or dried dill
- red pepper (you can also use fresh hot pepper, just we used dried red pepper)
- black peppercorns
Start by sterilizing yours jars. We used wide mouth pint jars for this batch. While your jars are sterilizing, slice your cukes into spears or chips, whichever floats your boat.
Combine vinegars, water, pickling spice and salt together and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. We also added some sliced garlic and dill to the brine. Let the brine simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Once the jars are sterilized and the brine is a-cookin’, it’s time to pack the jars. This is where you can get creative. We started by adding 3-4 black peppercorns, a clove of garlic, a bit of dill and a healthy pinch of red pepper to the bottom of the jar. Then we packed the cucumbers in the jars, topping it off with more dill and red pepper. Once all the jars are packed, we poured the hot brine into the jars. Leave about 1/2″ of headspace.
A note about the brine: always make more than you think you need! There’s nothing worse than having 8 jars packed and ready to go, then running out of brine in the middle of your 6th jar. Nothing worse than that! Except maybe a root canal. That sucks.
So once the brine is poured, slap on the lids and rings and throw it all back in the water bath canner. Let it process 10 minutes for pint jars, 15 minutes for quarts. Then remove from the heat and let them cool and come to room temperature. And don’t forget to wait for the ping!
So there you have it! A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and you have a Such and Such Pickle! Together it’s a winning combination of garlicky dill and a little bit of a kick from the pepper. There’s a little bit of everything, but not too much of one thing. It’s a great combination for those that like kosher pickles, garlic pickles or spicy pickles. All of the best pickles rolled into one delicious homemade pickle. So ifÂ you’re looking for a great homemade canned pickle recipe but can’t decide on just one, have fun and experiment with your favorite flavors and heat factor! It’s hard to go wrong with homemade pickles, trust me!Â