My goal this year is to figure out how to can and store pickles that stay crunchy after the hot water bath and storage. I've heard that a grape leaf and the tannins it contains can help with this, so I decided to give it a try. This was actually a last minute decision to can these up. I was hoping to wait until next week sometime because I am leaving for vacation tomorrow for 5 days, but I knew that with the size of these that by the time I got back they would be overgrown and not good for pickles.
So out to the garden we went, and this was our first picking of the year!
My daughter (who is much more camera shy than my boy, as you can tell) washed up all the pickles for me while I got the water bath boiling and the jars washed and sterilized.
Into each pint jar went:
1 clove of garlic 1 teaspoon of dill seed (My dill didn't come in this year otherwise I would have used fresh) 1/2 teaspoon of peppercorn
We then stuffed the cucumbers in tight, cutting the larger ones in half or fourths, and on top of each one I put in 1/2 a grape leaf.
We then added the brine that consisted of 3 cups of vinegar, 3 cups of water, and 4 tablespoons of canning salt. Then wiped the tops of the jars and put on a warm lid, followed by a ring, and into the hot water bath they go. I processed mine for 10 minutes.
All done. From the vine to pantry in under two hours. I will report back in two weeks with the results. Crossing our fingers for crunchy pickles!