My husband has an obsession with pickles. For many years up until recently he bought Claussens. They were the right amount of sour and dill and he liked the crunch as opposed to those nasty flaccid jarred pickles they sell in an unrefrigerated aisle near the olives. Not only would my husband eat an entire jar of pickles in 2 days by himself (sometimes 1), he would drink the pickle juice afterwards. Totally grossed me out. On a regular basis. I hated that he ate them. Have you read the ingredients? He would buy the pickle halves and wholes since he ate them so much it seemed the spears wasted precious pickle-eating time by having to fish through the jar for another one after each. Then I read the ingredients. One of the jars (although I can't recall which) had high fructose corn syrup...the bane of my existence! BUT...the same flavor dill pickle cut differently did not have high fructose corn syrup in it. Why, pray tell, would Claussen have to put HFCS in a halved pickle but not in a spear? Asshats. That's why.
After a few mediocre attempts and a few more great attempts, I have finally perfected the Almighty pickle. Better than Claussen. Much, much better.
This recipe will depend on the number of cucumbers you use. I didn't count mine, so bear with me. Try it. I promise. They are delicious.
4 Quart size Mason jars
Roughly 12-16 kirby cucumbers (pickling cukes)
6 c water
2c white vinegar
1.4c + 1 Tbsp sea salt (I prefer pink Himalayan)
4 cloves garlic
4 tsp pickling spice
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh dill
If they have not already been refrigerated, refrigerate cukes 24 hours.
Bring water and vinegar to a boil. Add the salt and turn heat to medium and stir while salt dissolves. As soon as salt is dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. This may take a while. (Insert Jeopardy music here). Don't get impatient. Not hot. Not warm. Room temperature. Or cooler.
Set out your mason jars. Halve your garlic cloves. Tear your bay leaves in half. In each jar place 1 2 halves of garlic, 1/2 bay leaf, 1 tsp pickling spice and 1 sprig fresh dill.
When water and vinegar are cooled, remove your cukes from the fridge. Cut just the end tips off. Half or quarter them lengthwise, whatever your pickle preference may be). Stuff as many as you can into each jar. When all jars are full, carefully (you may want to use a funnel here) pour the liquid over the cucumbers to cover them. Twist caps on tightly and refrigerate. Three. Count them, 1, 2, 3 Days. After 72 hours your pickles are done and delicious. You can thank me later. =)