Canning season is right around the corner—or have you already begun? Someone in our area said they were already putting up cucumbers and canning pickles. This, of course, made me feel completely behind schedule even though I realize we live in Nebraska where we have unreliable and wildly inconsistent weather. To further prove my point, I’ll remind you that we had a pretty decent snow in May this year.
I have merely blooms on my cucumber vines—very healthy, but no sprouting cucumbers just yet. A strong future for a plentiful crop is in store for us. I am certain of it. And I am certain that I will be tired of canning them by the end of the season. Sore feet will be accompanied by a beer in my hand at the end of the day, but it is admittedly always well worth my efforts.
Cucumbers take very little time to convert to pickles in comparison to my tomato concoctions, such as marinara, chili sauce, salsa, tomato juice, tomato sauce, etc. I ask myself why I continue to plant such an obscene amount of tomato plants and I tend to toggle between a few reasons. I worry that a bug will eat one, or that a few plants won’t produce much or mostly because we manage to eat all of the canned tomatoes by the end of the year. Trust me, this even surprises me despite the fact that I am well-aware that we eat 99.9% of our meals at home.
After seeing a whole pantry full of tomato based jars last year, I started singing, “I see a pantry and I want to paint it red.” Get it? “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones. Yep, that is how corny I get during canning season. Classic lyrics get weird, but my kids think I’m funny. Probably because we have a mutually respected weirdness.
While we’re on this corny lingo during canning season, feel free to check out and download my printable of wide-mouth jar lid labels for Dill Pickles. All things homemade are definitely a “big dill” in our household, and I hope you’ll enjoy pulling out a jar of homemade pickles from your pantry, especially when it has a pretty darn cute label on it. It sure beats permanent marker with masking tape as a label. 😊Click the link below:
Either write in the year along with your name in the given blanks or customize this editable PDF with a PDF editor (such as Sejda—it’s free and you don’t have to download extra software because it works in your browser).
You might already have a favorite recipe for canning pickles, but if you’re new to canning, feel free to take a look at and try out my recipe below:
SERVINGS: 2 pints
- 5 “young” cucumbers (I plant Ferry Morse “Spring Burpless” Cucumbers—they have really tender skin with no bitter flavor)
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt or kosher salt
- 2 wide-mouth pint jars
Follow standards for sterilizing jars. (You need to sterilize jars when they are processed for less than 10 minutes.)
- Add the spices to the jars: Divide the garlic, dill seed, and red pepper flakes (if using) between the pint jars: 2 smashed cloves, 1 teaspoon dill seed, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar.
- Pack the pickles into the jars: Pack the pickles into the jars. Trim the ends if they stand more than 1/2 inch below the top of the jar. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing the cucumbers.
- Bring the pickling brine to a boil: Combine the vinegar, water, and salt in a small sauce pan over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Pour the brine over the pickles, filling each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
Optional — Process the pickles for longer storage: For longer storage, place the jars in a boiling pot of water. When the water comes back to a boil, set the timer for 5 minutes and remove the jars immediately.
Note: Make sure you only use young cucumbers versus more mature and larger cucumbers because mature cucumbers make for mushy pickles. And let’s face it—after all your hard work, you won’t want to pull out a jar of mushy pickles from your pantry.