This might seem like a little bit of overkill, but I use this a lot at home. It's not just for dill pickles anymore. There will be a few recipes that follow where I will show you how (think pickled onions, pickled garlic, brining mix)! It is very expensive to purchase in the spice section at the regular grocery store, and if you buy these in the bulk section (in the small packages rather than the plastic containers), you can make this entire batch for the price of one 1 ounce bottle.
Homemade Pickling Spice
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons hot red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons allspice berries
1 1/2 tablespoon ground mace
3 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces
3 to 4 bay leaves, crumbled
3 tablespoons whole cloves
1 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
Place peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a small saute pan. Heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to scorch or burn them. Seeds may pop or crack while you are toasting them. Gently crack peppercorns and seeds in mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife on cutting board.
Toss together with other spices. Store in tightly sealed plastic or glass container.