We have a lot of pickling cucumbers in our garden so I'll be canning a lot of pickles in the coming weeks. The dill is also from our garden.
To start, get your canning jars sterilizing and start your pickling brine. I use 2 quarts of water, one quart white vinegar (5% acidity), 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar. You may also omit the sugar entirely if you are diabetic or simply trying to avoid it.
I like my pickles garlicky, so I add several cloves of garlic to each quart jar along with a bay leaf, a fresh dill head, 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of pickle crisp, a sprinkle of hot pepper seeds, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, a few peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, and if I want a more "dilly" taste I add 1/4 teaspoon dried dill. To add heat, include a fresh or dried jalapeno pepper to each jar.
I can both whole dill pickles and spears. I sometimes do dill chips as well.
Once the cukes are in the jar with the spices and covered with the brine, process in a water bath canner for no more than ten minutes or they will get mushy.
Let the jars cool overnight. I advise letting these sit at least 3-5 months before eating. Generally, if you're canning from your garden they should be ready to eat by the holidays.
To make strawberry-vanilla jam, use your favorite recipe but add one large vanilla bean to the pan while you are cooking the mixture. I do the same thing with my peach jam and the taste is phenomenal!!!