By Susan Shanklin
Fresh Kosher Style Dill pickles are associated with fond memories of Gail Bohan, Thanksgiving, Dugan Oaks, and of course Tom.
I’m probably not the best blue ribbon pickle maker in the county, but people seem to enjoy them. I’m not a huge kosher dill pickle fan. I like sweet pickles myself. Tom does not like sweet pickles, so I don’t make sweet pickles. We don’t eat or grow peas because Tom doesn’t like them. Get the picture? Let’s see if this makes it into the newsletter.
It seems like a zillion years ago, in Spring Grove, Minnesota, Gail Bohan made these blue ribbon kosher style dill pickles and Tom just loved them. Gail Bohan was my spiritual mentor/mother in the Lord, who wore these huge glasses that always slid down her nose and she would push them back up. She was a quiet handmaiden, but mighty in the spirit and who walked in authority.
I don’t think my pickles taste as good as hers. I think she had a special anointing and it kind of fell into her jars of pickles?
Anyway I still make Gail’s Fresh Kosher Style Dill pickles. I have cut back on the amount, but there are always jars on the pantry shelves and one in the fridge.
The kosher style dill pickles are another reason why my family comes for Thanksgiving—pickles and my dressing. Yes, that is the main reason—pickles and dressing. For my Iowan son-in-law, it might be the mac and cheese.
My son, Nathan, will walk in the door and glance at me for half a silly second and then his eyes are roaming the counter top for slices of pickles in my mother’s cut glass pickle dish.
He pops them in his mouth looking like a cartoon of someone holding up a little gold fish kind of wiggling and giggling and into the mouth it goes.
He doesn’t stop at one or two, but by the time the real dinner starts, I have sliced up another jar for the table.
Oh, he’s not the only one. Dom, my Minneapolis son-in-law, likes to wiggle giggle them too. Ha.
So, if you go back down to Spring Grove another fan of the pickles is Dugan Oakes. In a kind genteel manner, he will request a jar, shifting his weight in his steel-tipped lumber jack boots. A couple of times I think I made a trade for some wild black cap jam and another time venison steaks. Yahoo. Any time bro!
Tom is my biggest fan. He is my biggest consumer. Tom is my biggest reason why I make them. I like him.
Here is the recipe for the pickles. I have changed the salt amount for my own personal use to only 4 tablespoons. Gail used 6 tablespoons salt. So it’s your call.
It CAN be done!
Fresh Kosher Style Dill Pickles
3 Cups White Vinegar
3 Cups Water
4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
Place dill head and half a clove of garlic in bottom of jar and pack your cucumbers and top with another dill head and the other half of the garlic clove.
Fill the jar with piping hot brine.
Process for 2-5 minutes in boiling bath.
Cure for several months