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 dill......it 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 beets...lol), 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 pod........ummmmm.....so sweet!