Badion Family Kosher Dill Pickles

Badion Family Kosher Dill Pickles
By the way, this will also work for green tomatoes. When Valdivia's green tomatoes show up at the farmers markets, I'm going to try this recipe with them.

Makes 8 quarts (use wide-mouth glass jars)

6 to 7 pounds small pickling cucumbers OR green tomatoes (The larger cucumbers simply don't get the same intense flavor from fermentation as the smaller ones do.)

For each jar:
2 or more large sprigs of fresh dill (you can't use too much)
1 tablespoon pickling spices
4 cloves garlic, roughly sliced
1 dried chile pepper
4 bay leaves
5 or more peppercorns
1 pinch Ball Pickle Crisp Granules
1 rounded tablespoon kosher salt
Boiling water

(optional for color: baby carrots, celery)

1. Prep washed jars and lids by sterilizing in boiling water or running through the dishwasher. Wash the bands in soap and water.

2. Wash and scrub the cucumbers/tomatoes.

3. Make a small slit in the cucumbers or tomatoes so they will absorb the liquid. For the tomatoes, you can leave them whole or slice them in half to fit.

4. Fill the bottom of each jar first with the dill, pickling spices, garlic, chile pepper, bay leaves, peppercorns, Pickle Crisp Granules, and salt. Then pack in the cucumbers/tomatoes--but don't force them in.

5. Fill each jar with boiling water, leaving half an inch of head space.

6. Top with the lid and screw on the band tightly. Turn each jar upside down to spread the pickling spices throughout the jar. You can put them in the sun to cure for a day or two. They should be ready in five days but you ought to let them sit longer (up to 10 days) to get more sour and flavorful.