Sundays growing up were always church in the morning, followed by Mom putting a stack of grilled cheese sandwiches on the counter with a big bowl of dilled carrots. It’s possible (probable, even) that we didn’t have this every Sunday after church (and that we didn’t go to church every Sunday for that matter), but that’s the joy of nostalgia and it’s ability to skew our memories to suit our purposes. These are a favourite in my house now, and as soon as a jar is opened, it’s gone, so I try to make a lot of them. That said, the joy of this recipe is that you can make as many or as few as you would like and the amount of work is directly proportionate to the amount you want to make. Feel free to adjust this to suit your tastes; throw in a jalepeno if you like spicy pickles; use as much or as little dill as you like; up the garlic if you like that, or leave it out altogether; some mustard seeds in there might be nice. I would recommend using fresh from the garden carrots (farmer’s markets are great for this); it makes a huge difference in how these taste. And if you’ve never had carrot pickles before, this is so worth a shot.
Per 1/2 Litre Jar:
3 cloves garlic
handful fresh dill
1/2 lb (approx) baby carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
Brine (for 8-10 1/2 Litre jars):
4 cups vinegar
12 cups water
1 cup pickling salt
2. Stuff with carrots, and I mean really stuff them in there. Top with remaining dill, making sure there is still sufficient head space for the lids to seal (some carrots may need to be shortened).
3. Make the brine by combining all ingredients in a large pot and bringing it to a boil.
4. Get your lids ready by placing them in a bowl and covering with hot (I use boiling) water. Pour the hot brine into the jars leaving about 1/2″ head space, one at a time, covering with lids and rings as you go.
5. The jars should seal as they cool, but make sure to check them all before storing. If there are any that haven’t sealed you can either keep them in the fridge (they will be fine for a couple months because of all the vinegar, the same way an open jar of pickles would be) or pour the brine back out, bring it to a boil, wipe the rim of the jar, double check that carrots and dill are not too close to the lid, and try again. Usually mine don’t seal if a stray piece of dill gets on the rim or I have a carrot that is too long and is sitting against the lid.
6. Let sit for at least 2 weeks before eating. The longer they sit, the better the flavour.