My Mom’s Dill & Garlic Pickles


  • 20-25 4 " cucumbers
  • 12-16 heads of fresh dill 2 per quart
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic 1 per quart
  • 6-8 hot red peppers 1 per quart
  • 1/8 tsp alum per quart
  • 1 cup coarse salt
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 quart apple cider vinegar
  • grape leaves 1 per jar


  • I'm not going to give detailed directions on canning because I'm still pretty new to it myself. This recipe said to wash the cucumbers, then soak in water overnight. I skipped that step last year and just washed them. This year I washed them and soaked them in water while I was prepping everything else. I did cut off the blossom end, which is also supposed to help keep the pickles crisp.
  • You need to sterilize the jars, which I do in the dishwasher. You also need to sterilize the lids and rings, which I do in a pan of boiling water on the stove. (I just recently learned you don't have to leave the rings on after the jars have sealed and cooled--in fact, it's recommended you do not!
  • You'll also need a hecka big pot wherein you can quart jars covered by an inch of water. I have my mom's old pot, as well as her old metal thing that keeps the jars off the metal bottom of the pot so they don't bang into each other. And her old funnel and thing to lift the jars with. Bring that big old pot of water to boil while you're prepping everything. It will take a while. I also always put a kettle of water onto boil so I can top off the boiling water bath if needed.
  • In a large pan, bring the salt, water and cider vinegar to boil.
  • Stuff as many cucumbers into each jar as you can. You can slice them or quarter them if you like. I try to pick small and keep them whole but this batch of cucumbers I'm growing this year seem to grow 8" overnight so most of mine are cut.You need some room to cover them with the brine so make sure you have at least 1/2-3/4" clearance.
  • Add 2 heads of dill, 1-2 cloves garlic, 1 hot red pepper and 1/8 tsp alum (if using). Pour the vinegar mix into each jar (using a funnel helps), leaving 1/2" headroom (space between the liquid and the lid). Add a (washed) grape leaf to each jar. Then put the lid and ring on.
  • Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Makes 6-8 quarts depending on the size of your cucumbers.