Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nana Mae's Dill Pickles (AKA Schwanitz Farm Dill Pickles)

I made these with Nana Mae one summer and got the recipe from will notice it is a little different than the Schwanitz Family Cookbook... since I wrote this as she instructed me and as I observed her making them.

Our family tradition was ... she made the pickles and the first jar was opened on Thanksgiving Day. My dad opened the rusty jar and Grandpa George had to taste test them to make sure they were "SAFE" for us to eat. We used to watch him, almost terrified something bad would happen to him. Once he declared they were safe, we all got pickles - no more than 2 per person but we cherished those two! 

6 cups HEINZ white vinegar (she was very specific about Heinz)
6 cups distilled water (she didn't want any chemicals to ruin the taste)
12 TBSP Kosher Salt
Peeled Garlic Cloves (2 - 3 per jar)
Fresh Dill - washed
Fresh pickles

Peel garlic cloves, set aside.

Wash pickle cucumbers and dill well, set aside.

Jars... Wash and rinse well... quart canning jars with hot water

Put the jars on a cookie sheet and place in the hot oven to sterilze (seemed to me it was for 30 minutes at 350) -

Place lids in boiling water to sterilize and remove them with tongs as needed (keep them HOT) 

While jars are in the oven - boil together vinegar, distilled water, and salt.....keep hot...if simmering waiting for jars, bring to boil again before filling jars.

Upon removing jars from the oven... slice cucumber pickles into spears and pack into jars. Add 2 -3 garlic cloves and pack with dill flowers.

Add boiling liquid almost to the very top.

Seal with HOT lids.   ( Don't put the rings on until they are cooled, or next day).

Makes 3 - 5 Qts.

She made them as they were ready in the garden.

Wait until Thanksgiving to eat.

Find a good taste tester (someone with a good life insurance... just kidding!) to taste test.

These pickles DO NOT go in hot water bath... they are done exactly as the directions above indicate.

If the liquid in the jars turns cloudy after they have stood a few weeks, toss it out. Liquid should remain clear.


Schwanitz Family Farm

Schwanitz Homestead