Friday, June 25, 2010

Cucumbers are In! Let the Pickling Begin!

Okay, so I haven't done any pickling or canning in about 15-20 years...........I decided yesterday to make some dill pickles.  Went out to the garden and found way more than I expected (which is what usually happens with cukes, as they hide under their leaves.......makes it kinda fun, like an easter egg hunt).
I decided I would do the pickling this year........last year my husband did them.  Didn't have any quart jars, but some of the cucumbers were not really long enough for quart jars, so some of them I just cut in half and then placed in pint jars.  Using FRESH DILL this year!  Nothing compares to fresh anything really, but we didn't grow dill last year, so used stuff out of the bottle.  Not the same.  And when I went to the grocery store to try to buy fresh was limp, and WAY over priced.
My recipe was simple.  One large clove cut in half placed in the bottom of jars, followed by a precise placement of the cucumbers so as they would look nice in the jars, followed by a fresh sprig of dill, then came the brine.  Made way too much of it, but it was about 12 cups of water, to 4 cups of white vinegar and 2/3c. of pickling salt.  Bring to a boil and pour that over your cukes, put the lids on and you're done!
Sounds easy, except I forgot to put my jars in a pan of very hot water, which lowered the temperature of the brine enough that about 4 jars did not seal.  I remembered that little fact AFTER the fact.  Oh well, hope they will be ready in time for our big 4th of July Shindig.....the whole family comes over, about 15-20 of us and we gorge on hamburgers, hot dogs, pork and beans, potato salad, pickles, dessert, and, of course, watermelon!
I'll let you know how these cute little pickles turned out. 
By the way, I also used FRESH GARLIC in them.  Last Fall, my husband took some regular cloves that we'd gotten from the supermarket and planted them.  We have loads of huge bulbs of fresh garlic!  There is a difference.  When you've tasted really fresh garlic, you won't want to buy them from the store again.
Have been eating Swiss Chard, Beet Greens (yes, the greens that grow on top of the, lots of lettuce and putting in some of the fresh peas that were planted April 1st of this year.  The peas are about gone, love them right out of the sweet!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Daddy :)

This tribute is to my "Daddy".   For us Southern girls, "Father", is just too formal.  I'm 61 years old and am still a "Daddy's girl".  I love my Daddy.   I've always loved my Daddy!  But, as is true in so many instances, you don't really understand the true worth of your parents until you've become one. 
We helped my Daddy celebrate his 80th birthday last June, 2009.  We had a big shindig with lots of family, friends and acquaintances coming by to give him their special blessings.  We (my two brothers and I), gave my Daddy a "VoiceQuilt".  If you've never heard of a voice quilt and want to give a very special and unique gift, check out  It can make a special occasion even more special!
It's amazing how, as you get older, suddenly your parents have become much more wise than you imagined.  I now know and understand some of the things my Daddy went through when we were growing up. 
My Daddy was a hard working man.  He always made sure we kids had what we needed, and as often as possible, some things we wanted.  He went without at times, just like my mother, to make sure we kids had what we needed. 
My Daddy is a godly man.  He's a faithful, caring, giving, man.  He has been through the fire more than once, and has proven to be rock solid.  He believes when you make a commitment, you should keep that commitment.  I thought he was a little strict on us kids when growing up.  However, what he was doing was bringing us up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.........something that is sadly lacking in a lot of homes today. 
My Dad married my mother when he was just 17 years old.  But he took his vows seriously and was faithful to my mother "until death do we part", shy one month of 51 years.   She passed away 12 years ago after many years of illnesses.  He never made her feel that she were a burden.....not one minute. 
Is my Daddy without faults?  No.........but he has certainly become the Patriarch of our big family and has attained the type of character that many people admire, including myself. 
Even at age 81, he still manages to take time to go to the nursing homes and visit those people who have not been as fortunate as he.
Daddy, if you read this, just know that you are so loved.  I know there have been times over the years where I have disappointed or hurt you in some way.  I ask you to forgive for those times I knew about, and those I did not.  I just hope at least half the character you have, has rubbed off on me somewhat. 
I love you, and always, Sissy:)