This week, I made the last of the cukes from this year's garden into about the ugliest dill pickles you will ever see. Ugly, because end of the season cukes have the tendency to not grow straight and cylindrical, but rather to twist and contort and have one end fatter than the other. Maybe it's the cooler nights that do it? Or maybe the dying vines just can't make normal fruit anymore? Whatever the reason, I now have two quart jars of strange looking pickles. Good thing taste counts for more than looks, when it comes to pickles; these two quarts will get eaten just as readily as the pickles that look more like what you'd find on the shelves of the grocery store.
Beauty aside, these ugly pickles are a huge savings from pickles purchased at the store. Considering that the cucumbers, dill, and garlic I used were homegrown (basically free), my only expense was the vinegar, canning salt, celery seed, and mustard seed that went into each jar. Those are pretty cheap, making each quart jar of pickles cost just a small fraction of a jar of dill pickles from the store.
I'm pretty happy with my cukes this season. It's been years since I was able to grow enough cucumbers to make pickles with. My tally in the cellar this afternoon is 11 pints of hamburger dills, 6 quarts of dill spears (I use the ones that get away from me and get fat to quarter into spears, saving the smaller cukes for whole dills), and 15 quarts 1 pint of whole dill pickles. :0)