The best dill pickles ever; been making these for 30 years so I have no idea where the recipe came from.
Makes 6-8 qts.
5-6 lbs. small pickling cukes (Kirby or other, 25 small, about 3"-4" long)
Scrub the cucumbers to remove any grit, and soak them in cold water for several hours or overnight. Drain them while you sterilize 6-8 wide-mouth quart jars, or substitute several wide-mouth pint jars. A run through the dishwasher is all you need. Time it so they are used immediately after.
For each jar you'll need:
1 pinch powdered alum
2 cloves garlic
1 small hot red pepper
2 dill flower heads or 1 tsp. dill seed
1 grape leaf (optional)
Pack cukes in jars and add alum, garlic and hot pepper. Push dill down among cukes after you pack them in, and place the grape leaf on top. Place rings and lids in a pot of boiling water and keep them simmering on the stove.
1 qt. vinegar, 1 c. kosher salt, 3 qts. water, and bring to a boil. Stir until salt is dissolved, and pour over cukes. If you don't have enough liquid to cover them, add a little more boiling water. Seal jars, and turn upside down on a rack; let cool upside down for several hours. Store in a cool dark place. Let the pickles cure for at least a month before eating, and refrigerate upon opening.