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  1. I have searched in vain and have yet to find a commercial dill pickle product that taste's as good as homegrown and home canned dill pickles. I've canned hundreds of jars through the years of pickles both dill and sweet, and when it comes to dill pickles I prefer mine fresh packed, partly because it's so fast and easy to do. I use pickling cucumbers and harvest at about 4 inches. You can cut in slices or lengthwise and then pack into sterilized jars. I then add a garlic clove or two in each jar, and a special tip that I'll reveal at the end.

    Bring your pickling liquid to a boil; which is basically vinegar, water, pickling spices, and a bit of sea salt. Use can add fresh dill, mustard seed, a slice of hot red pepper--whatever sounds good to you. Ladle the hot liquid over the cucumbers, leaving 1/4- to 1/2 inch headspace; remove air bubbles and adjust the caps, then process accordingly. The time will depend on the whether the cucumber is sliced, halved or whole and whether you're using pints or quarts. As for the tip--before adding the hot liquid, I always add a grape leaf or two to each jar. Doing so results in a crisper pickle!

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