I make dill garlic to give out as Christmas gifts to our friends and family. I’ve been doing this for years, and every year when I spot the fresh dill in the grocery store it’s a mad rush to get everything together and canned before it disappears. This year, I finally planted my own dill.
As luck would have it, it actually grew. As soon as the dill heads started blooming, I panicked. Never having grown my own before, I didn’t know how long it would bloom, or how many it would make. The mad rush was on again.
Those of you who have grown dill already know this, but there was no need to hurry. I made the garlic a month and a half ago, and there’s still dill. I kept looking at it sadly out the window, until I finally decided to try something I’ve always wanted to do: refrigerator pickles.
I’ve canned pickles before, but I’ve never been happy with them. The texture is weird. Pickles should be crunchy, and mine just aren’t, no matter what I do. These little babies, however, are crunchy, a little spicy and delicious. I might not be able to go back to store-bought. These aren’t the same, but I like them better.
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced about 3/8” thick (I used a regular, garden-variety cucumber)
1 dill head
1 spring dill leaves
2 whole garlic cloves
2 – 3 slices, jalapeno, serrano or sweet pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Place the rest of the ingredients in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar. Pour the vinegar mixture over. Finish filling the jar with water. Place in the refrigerator. Wait a day or two before eating. I can’t tell you how long they will last, because mine were gone in about 2 days.
I don’t know if it was necessary, but I shook the jar every time I opened the fridge to redistribute the spices. As usual, I made my husband an extra-spicy jar by adding extra pepper slices, another 1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes and, after putting on my hazmat suit, 1/4 teaspoon of ghost pepper powder.
I don’t know what I’m going to do when all my dill is gone, but I’ll definitely be planting it again next year!