2½ pounds young okra, each no more than 2½-3-inches long
6-12 cloves garlic
6 large sprigs of fresh dill, or 6 teaspoons dill seeds
12 whole small hot red pepper pods, preferably cayenne, optional
3 teaspoons whole mustard seeds, optional
About 5¼ cups cider or distilled white vinegar
3¾ cups water
3 tablespoons pure pickling salt or kosher salt
Thoroughly wash 6 pint canning jars and new canning lids and sterilize them in boiling hot water. Let the jars air dry but leave the lids in the hot water. Do not touch the insides of the jars after they are sterilized.
Wash the okra under cold running water, rubbing gently to remove the fuzz. Trim off most of the stem but leave the cap intact. Using clean tongs, pack the okra into the jars, first cap down and then cap up, so that they mesh with one another. Add a pod of garlic, or two if you really like it, a teaspoon of dill seeds, and 2 pepper pods and a half-teaspoon of mustard seeds, if liked, to each jar.
Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a stainless pan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Divide this between the jars, leaving half an inch of head room at the top of each jar. If you have any of brine left over, discard it: don’t over-fill the jars.
Seal with the lids and rings and process the jars completely covered in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and set them, not touching one another, on folded kitchen towels. Let cool completely and store for 6 to 8 weeks to allow the pickles to mature before using them. Either reprocess jars that don’t seal or store them in the refrigerator and use them up within 2 months.
Recipe Courtesy of Damon Lee Fowler