a big basket of pickling cucumbers artfully staged

The Mason Jar Chronicles – Sour Dill Pickles

The Mason Jar Chronicles here at Nibs and Bits will, yes, chronicle my/my family’s adventures with fermentation, water-bath canning, and pretty much anything and everything that can be crammed into a mason jar – that can and will includes cold brew coffee(s) and various fruit-y and non fruit-y beverages. Follow along for the triumphs and the let-downs – and some tips and tricks in between!

Pickles, man.  They’re like the tacos of the canned/fermented world, for me. I can’t have JUST one! They’re totally my BFF veg item – and I love most versions of them. I’m pretty sure I lived on bottles of little gherkins in Provence for a solid 2 days. Not exactly sure why, but it happened.

Now, water bath canning pickles has typically left me pacified, but definitely not happy and nowhere close to stoked. They’re just NOT as crisp as I would prefer when water-bath canned. True, I could add a grape leaf to see if that helps (it’s supposed to) – but I’m lazy, and I want it to be easy, and I don’t have grape leaves handy.

Well, here’s a life hack for you guys: it’s WAY easier to ferment your pickling cukes than to spend hours sterilizing jars and preparing vinegar/salt/sugar, etc. AND AND AND they are SO FREAKIN’ good. What a pickle should be. I know, I know, these are some BIG words about pickles – but I just got done fermenting a batch of sour dill pickles, recipe from Wild Fermentation, and I gotta say, I feel like some major life loose ends were just wrapped up upon tasting my own home fermented dill pickles. The world can rest easy because I am now happy AND stoked with a pickle that I made.

You’ll need a bunch of pickling cucumbers, flowering dill heads (watch out, they will make everything in their vicinity in the fridge taste like dill – just ask my kiddo about her apples that were next to the dill bag), a ton of garlic (I really want to know if I actually HAVE to peel 5 heads of garlic – I DID make a double-batch, btw), sea salt ( I use Celtic), and pinch of peppercorns.

So, of course I documented my sour dill journey to share…

Seriously though, guys, grab a mason jar and and fermentation air lock (if you don’t have a crock), and make yo’self a damn good dill pickle!

More Mason Jar Chronicles HERE and HERE.

pickling cucumbers
Beauts! From local farm: Morning Glory Farm & Espresso – a great resource for southern Willamette Valley preservers.
pickling cucumbers
I love you, a bushel and a peck…
pickling cucumbers in a sink
Give ’em a good bath but be careful to not bruise.
garlic peeled on a pan
Peel ALL the garlic – and smell the lingering aroma for HOURS whether you like it or not! Some of my favorite garlic is from this farm.

Now, your pickles will be in your jar or crock – cookin’ away for as long as you like, really. More sour, keep ’em in longer. Less sour? Take them out sooner. Mine, being summer time and all, stayed in for 7 days – but you can keep them in for longer. I like mine sour yet still crisp!

fermented pickles
I’m putting these pickles on everything.
jarred pickles
On the left and right you will see that the brine is cloudy. Totally normal. The center pickles are to show you what they look like out of the brine. NAKED pickle alert – avert your eyes!
fermented pickles in jar
Packed into jars ready to eat!
fermented jars in a refrigerator
The ferments are taking over and it’s AMAZING!
pickle jars in a refrigerator
Resting peacefully in the fridge – the cold adds extra crisp!

The recipe I used was from this popular fermentation book – it’s got your basics and it’s damn comprehensive. Get it if you want to start fermenting!

One thought on “The Mason Jar Chronicles – Sour Dill Pickles

  1. Beautiful! Simple and natural and way cooler on a hot day. Great recipe you have found. A lifetime of good pickles……doesn’t get any better than that! Great explanation and enthusiasm to motivate others.

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