Before pickle worms destroyed my entire crop of cucumbers, zucchini and yellow neck squash, I made a small batch of pickles. Three pints of tangy, garlicky, crunchy deliciousness now gone, along with my poor plants.
The recipe I used came from Heartland, as published in April's Country Living magazine. It caught my eye because it was so. very. easy. No processing, and they keep in the refrigerator for up to one year. (Warning: in my household of 7 eaters, 3 jars lasted one week.)
I prefer a true salty dill, which this is not. But for a sweet pickle, it was quite yummy - not too sweet, with lots of garlic and dill flavor.
A Perfect Pickle
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound pickling or baby cucumbers, ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise
8 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 large seed heads fresh dill, with some stalk
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
2. Divide cucumber spears, garlic and peppercorns between two sterilized pint-size canning jars (note: I had enough brine for 3 jars). Stuff a dill seed head into the center of each jar. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over jar contents to cover. crew lids onto jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 year.