Making Dill Pickles in a Crock
When we returned from our visit out east there were plenty of cucumbers in the garden. A few had grown to the size of small watermelons and those went to the chickens. They love cucumbers! The rest were just right for filling my crock with a big batch of brine cured dill pickles.
My parents brought this crock when they came to visit last fall for Thanksgiving. They’ve had it for many years and couldn’t recall where it came from. I asked for one for my birthday so I could make sauerkraut and pickles in it this year. I’m so thrilled to have this crock to fill and cure the bounty from my garden just like my Grandma M used to do. You can find my recipes for Brine Cured Dill Pickles and Brine Cured Mustard Pickles here.
Filling the crock up with sliced cucumbers, onion, dill flowers, and brine solution brings back such wonderful memories of my Gram’s pickle crocks. She would often have 2 crocks filled and curing in the stairway to her cellar. The cool air kept the pickles longer. Gram would make mustard pickles in one crock. They were very strong, with vinegar and spices to cure and flavor the cucumbers. When company came over she would dip out a bowl of pickles to put on the table. I had to change up her recipe a little to cut the strength of the vinegar a bit with brine solution. The old recipe makes me choke, even though I love the flavor.
With the cucumbers all sliced up in the crock, I added several flower heads from my dill plants, a sliced onion, and a few peppercorns. The brine solution is poured over the whole mess, then a plate is placed directly on the top of the veggies. I used a couple of ceramic bowls from my Grandma P’s kitchen to weigh down the plate and keep the cukes under the brine to prevent spoilage. The whole crock is left for at least a day to cure and pickle. On day two I dipped out a slice or two to taste test. The flavor is already to my liking, but the pickles will be allowed to cure like this for at least a week before I put them in the refrigerator or can them. This year I might try freezing a few to see how they turn out. It’s fun to experiment with different methods of food preservation.
The crock of pickles is filling our kitchen with the scent of dill. It makes me hungry just walking by!
Have you ever made brine cured pickles in a crock? What is your favorite recipe?