pounds small pickling cucumbers
cups distilled white vinegar
cup white sugar
cup pickling salt
tablespoons pickling spice, wrapped in cheesecloth
1-quart canning jars with lids and rings
heads fresh dill
Place cucumbers in a large pot and cover with ice cubes. Let them sit for at least 2 hours but no more than 8. Drain and pat dry. Place the water, vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, and pickling spice into a saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the cucumbers into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/2 inch of the top. Place 1 dill head and 1 clove of garlic into each jar. Pour the hot pickling liquid into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 5 minutes, or the time recommended by your county Extension agent. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). If any jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate them and eat within two weeks. Store in a cool, dark area, and wait at least 1 week before opening.