Great- Grandma's Pickles
Featured in: "The Bright Season"
3 quarts of water
1 quart of white vinegar
1 cup coarse canning salt
Boil the first three ingredients to make the brine, then cool the mixture to room temperature. (This can be done the day before). This should make enough brine to do 10 quarts of pickles. Pack prepared cucumbers into quart jars and add fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon of dill seed, per quart. Pour brine over top. Put sealed jars in a hot water bath until it reaches a good boil. Then turn off the stove and let it set overnight.
My great-grandma was known for her home-canned dill pickles. What was her secret? The fresh-from-the-garden cucumbers and dill played a role, of course. But some relatives wonder if the family farm’s well water is what made her pickles so good. No one has been able to fully replicate the flavor in their own homes.
Here are the instructions, just as they’ve been passed down and around for years. It’s light on specifics, as many old recipes are. Unless you're a very experienced canner, consider this as more for entertainment purposes than anything else.