A perfect pickling: Dill cucumbers

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Learn how to pickle cucumbers for perfect dill pickle

This recipe for pickling cucumbers is from Maria and Nick Croitoru from Romania, now living in Coquitlam:

Preparing the cucumbers

• As if they were babies, carefully wash 5 lb. (2.5 kg) of small to medium, fresh (not flabby!) dill cucumbers. Fill three washed and sterilized large jars with cukes, tucking in dillweed, garlic cloves, hot pepper flakes here and there (to taste). Add minced fresh horseradish for crispness.

Heating the water

• Heat 21⁄2 quarts (L) of water and 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of rock salt to a boil.

Filling the pickling jars

• Position the filled jars on a damp towel. Ladle in brine to cover. The cucumbers must be completely covered by the brine, and Maria has a tip. Cut two wooden tongue depressors just a bit larger than the jar diameter and soak in hot water briefly so they’ll bend. Place them horizontally atop the cucumbers, below the rim. It will be a snug fit.

Storing the jars

• Screw on the lids, but not TOO tightly. Wrap the jars in a towel to keep them warm for 24 hours.

Nearly dill pickle time

• The jars will probably leak when fermentation begins. It’s not a problem. Loosen the lid to release the gas and reseal. Store the pickles in a cool, dark room for two weeks, then refrigerate. They’re now ready to eat and could last until spring, but they won’t.