In Search of Dill Heads

dill_headsDave writes in:

Where can you easily find Dill heads for use in making dill pickles. I cannot find them when I need them.

So, some of you might be wondering what a Dill head is. It’s the flowering part from the top of the dill plant.  Let it dry out on the plant and you’ll have dill seed.


Dill heads can be found in some grocery stores a little later in the season or at farmers’ markets.  Many folks grow their own to make sure they have a supply for the season.

Hope this helps.


Pickling Questions with Extra Crunch

I’ve received a few really good pickle questions over the past week.  Here are two:

From Susie:

I process about 90lbs of dill pickles each summer.  I discovered Mrs Wages pickle mix a few years ago and love it!  I’ve tried several of the Wages mixes.  One in particular I’d like help with is the pickled mixed veggies.  I’ve tried twice and both times the carrots and cauliflower turn out so mushy!  I want them crisp like when you buy them in the store.  What am I doing wrong?
Also, when I have extra dill pickle brine, I put up several pints of dill carrot sticks. They are so yummy!!!

And another from Pam:

Is it ok to ad the white powder (can’t think of the name) that makes pickles stay crunchy to a store bought mix?

Both good questions that deserve answers: Continue reading

How Full is Full Enough?

vegetables series: cucumbers pickles

I received a very practical canning question from Bonnie the other day and thought I’d try to share a little practical experience to help clear things up.

Bonnie’s question is about pickles. Specifically, packing a jar with cukes before adding the pickling liquid. She wrote:

Can  you  please  explain   or show how to  tightly fill a canning jar with cucumbers when  making  pickles.

I will try to explain because I have no way to video this.

Continue reading