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Dill Pickles VII (P, TNT)
Source: "The Kitchen Garden Cookbook," by Sylvia Thompson
Yield: 4 to 5 quarts, 6 to 8 pickles per quart

Pickling Spices:
6 tbsp. mustard seeds
12 bay leaves, crumbled
4 3"-long small dried hot red peppers, crumbled
48 whole allspice
48 black peppercorns
4 tsp. ground coriander
1 2"-long piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, grated

6 to 7 pounds pickling cucumbers, uniformly 3" to 4" long
6 sprigs dill, (or more), cut in short pieces
10 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6-1/2 quarts water
1-1/2 cups coarse salt

Combine mustard seeds, bay leaves, red peppers, allspice, peppercorns, coriander, and ginger in small bowl.

Soak cucumbers in cold water 10 minutes to clean. Drain. Line bottom of 3-gallon clay crock with dill sprigs. Sprinkle with half of the pickling spice and garlic. Place cucumbers on top in double layer (do not pack too tightly). Repeat dill and cucumber layers until all cucumbers are in crock, topping with any remaining dill and remaining half of pickling spice and garlic cloves.

Stir 6 quarts of water and salt together until salt has dissolved and water is clear. Pour brine into crock, covering cucumbers by at least 2". Take dish of smaller diameter then mouth of crock and place on top of cucumbers.

Fill a resealable plastic bag with 1-1/2 cups water, seal and set on top of plate. This should hold cucumbers beneath brine. Cover with cloth and set in a well-ventilated place at room temperature.

In 3 days, add 1/2 quart water to brine. In 6 or 7 days, cucumbers should have changed color and have the flavor of mildly salty and sour pickle. If you prefer strong flavor, ferment several more days. If scum is present, skim and clean plate and plastic bag.

When pickles reach desired flavor, put them in jars covered with brine and spices and store in refrigerator up to 6 months.

Poster's Notes:
Cookbook author Sylvia Thompson pays homage to screenwriter Irving Brecher, author of the Marx Brothers' "Go West" and other classics, in her adaptation of his dill pickle recipe in her book, "The Kitchen Garden Cookbook," 1995. These dill pickles are about half-fermented then stored in the refrigerator, which leaves them quite crunchy and bursting with the garlicky, sour taste of a fine kosher pickle. Persian cucumbers work well in this recipe.

Posted by Nancy Berry

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A