These were my maiden attempt at pickles, and I cannot wait until next year to make more. Despite being processed, they are still crunchy and flavorful, and beat any store-bought pickle hands down. I did use pint jars instead of quarts, as I halved the recipe, and added the following to each jar: 2 dill heads (not sure what the difference is between sprigs and heads), 2 cloves of garlic each cut into quarters, 2 allspice berries, and a heaping 1/8 tsp of a mixture of dill seed, celery seed and mustard seed (thanks to another reviewer for the last item). I also used the smallest cukes I could find so they wouldn't be super seedy, and I cut both ends off to avoid the enzymatic effect from the blossom end. Finally, I only processed for 5 minutes. I know that is not recommended, but I was terrified they would be mushy. I didn't have any grape leaves to add, so figured if they didn't seal I could always put them in the fridge. Happily, they did seal after being inverted for a few hours, and are still looking beautiful 6 weeks later with no spoilage and great taste. Thanks so much for this recipe!!
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These were my maiden attempt at pickles, and I cannot wait until next year to make more. ...