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|OPEN CROCK DILL PICKLES|
fresh dill leaves, stems or seeds
mixed pickling spices
12 lbs. freshly picked cucumbers
2 gallons cold water
1 pint vinegar
1 lb canning or Kosher salt
In a 4 gallon crock with a lid, place a layer of grape leaves, then one of fresh dill leaves, stems and/or seeds. Over these, scatter 1 oz. mixed pickling spices. Fill with evenly sized cucumbers to within 2 or 3 inches of top.
Scatter another ounce of spices, another layer of dill, and then a layer of grape leaves. Over this, pour a mixture of 2 gallons of filtered cold water (do not use chlorinated or adulterated tap water or the pickles will not ferment properly), 1 pint of vinegar (any kind), and 1 pound of canning or Kosher salt.
Weigh down using a heavy crockery weight or a dish with a brick over the top. If a stone is used, be sure it isn't limestone. The pickles should be weighted down to keep them submerged under the liquid.
If the temperature is kept about 86°F, fermentation will be complete within about 2 weeks (if cooler, fermentation will take longer).
Pickles should become a dark green, but should not be slimy. At the end of the curing, the pickles may be put up in sterilized canning jars.
Fill the jars with cured pickles. Fill the sterile jars with fresh pickling brine (same as above) flavored with a little spice and dill.
This original recipe, which uses a traditional method of making fermented pickles, does not call for additional processing. If proper techniques are used, the traditional method of making pickles may be used with good success. New recommendations, however, call for pickles to be processed in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (pints) 15 minutes (quarts) leaving 1/4-inch headspace in jars..
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