This recipe came from a dear friend and is such a fun summer tradition. Our farmer's market sells little cucumbers just for making pickles with. When I saw them for sale this morning I knew it was time to mix up a batch. Both of my girls love pickles and Julia will even ask for them for breakfast. (No, I don't let her eat them for breakfast!) I've made a few slight changes to the recipe so I'll post my version here.
Use a glass one gallon sun tea jar. (Make sure the spout at the bottom is on tight enough. The first time I made sun pickles they started leaking all over the place and I had to dump them out, tighten the spout, and then pour them all back in again.) Layer pickles, sprigs of fresh dill, and cloves of garlic in the jar. I used 3-4 sprigs of dill and 5-6 cloves of garlic. I also put in some beans this time to make dilly beans, and because I didn't buy quite enough pickles to fill the jar.
Mix together the following:
6 cups water
3 cups vinegar (actually I ran out and only used 2 1/2 cups but its working fine)
1/2 cup pickling salt (not regular salt)
1 tsp alum (found in the baking dept, keeps the pickles crunchy)
I mixed this all up in a juice pitcher and then poured it over the pickles in the glass jar. Set in the sun for 4 days - if you don't have sun it should work just as well inside. These are wonderfully crunchy and fresh tasting. When they are ready, you can put them in smaller containers and refrigerate for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!
(I looked at a jar of pickles from the refrigerator today and read the ingredients - several preservatives and food coloring. Seriously? In a pickle? I guess I should have known. All the more reason to keep batches of pickles going all summer. I need to find out if its possible to can these.)
*Update- We are loving the dilly beans! They only took 2 days to be ready - we tested them this afternoon while playing outside and both girls kept coming back for more. I had to stuff in all the rest of the green beans I had in the house and then explain to the girls why it was going to be a day before they could have more dilly beans. (see Tammy's Recipes for more green bean recipes)