Pickles in jars

8 lbs. of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers

2 gallons water

1 1/4 C. canning or pickling salt (divided)

1 1/2 quarts vinegar (5%)

1/4 C. sugar

2 quarts water

2 T. whole mixed pickling spice

About 3 T. whole mustard seed (1 tsp. per pint jar)

About 14 heads of fresh dill (1 1/2 heads per pint jar) or 4 1/2 T. dill seed (1 1/2 tsp. per pint jar)

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1⁄16-inch slice off blossom end, but leave 1/4 inch of stem attached. Dissolve 3/4 C. salt in 2 gallons water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain.

Combine vinegar, 1/2 C. salt, sugar and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill hot jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp. mustard seed and 1 1/2 heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.

Wipe rims of jars with dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process as below:

At altitude 0-1,000 feet, process pints for 10 minutes and quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yield: About 7 to 9 pints

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