Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Here's a terrific recipe for pickles.  It's really easy and makes a bunch at a time so have some canning jars ready.  If the jars and vinegar are pretty warm when you put the lids on they should seal up without having to go through the process of boiling the jars.  Though they may need to go in the fridge overnight to finish sealing.  I also use smaller jars so I get more of them and can use them as gifts when I need a quick host gift.  Though I still do a couple of larger jars to keep in the fridge and for those serious pickle fans who I know will go through them.  My last batch was 3/4 of the recipe and it made six - 8 ounce, two - 16 ounce and two - 24 ounce jars and a little bit left over.  I probably would have had more if I hadn't spilled so much of it on the counter when I was trying to fill the jars while talking on the phone.... oh and also, they should deffinately sit for at least 48 hours before eating as they need time to marinate.  The longer they sit in that deliciously garlicky juice the better they will taste.

So here it is. 

Delectable Dill Pickles
~A couple pounds of cucumbers or green beans
(would suggest steaming the beans for a just a minute or two before hand as they will soak up the flavors much better and faster than completely raw beans)

~1 large bunch of fresh dill
~1/2 cup garlic
(I usually do a clove or two, depending on jar size, per jar, cut into 4 or 6 pieces)

~4 cups white vinegar
~4 cups cider vinegar
~4 cups water
~1 cup salt (kosher or sea)
~1/2 cup sugar
~1/2 Tablespoon pickling spice

Cut cucumbers into spears (or ovals, or whatever shape you'd like your pickles to take).
Stuff them into the jars with dill and garlic, dividing evenly between jars.  Be sure not to fill the jars past the bottom of the lid rings.  

In a non-reacting pot, bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil and let simmer 5 minutes.  Pour liquid into warmed jars.  Put lids on and refrigerate.  

Again, it's best to let them soak for at least 48 hours before popping that lid.  I know, it's hard, but it'll be worth the wait.  

Suggestions:  If you prefer an even less sweet pickle cut back on the amount of sugar.  I prefer a more garlicky pickle so I put more chunks in to each jar than others so feel free to adjust to you're liking.  After a couple of batches (maybe smaller ones, it's an easy recipe to half) you'll know just how you like and you'll have your very own special pickle recipe unique to your own taste.  Good luck!

Some Like It Hot

Some like it hot, ya know?  I do my best not to complain seeing how I'm one month shy of despising winter, how could someone hate winter and summer too?  People would start to assume that person were a Canadian with all that griping.  So I force myself to sit in the sun, dripping with crystal beads forming on my nose (because everyone knows, ladies don't sweat, they glisten).  Oh you've never heard?  Well then you are certainly unaware that neither do we do such a disgraceful thing as fart like an old man who ate too many beans for dinner last night.  On the contrary, we 'pass gas' and of course, you guessed it, it smells nothing less than a fresh bouquet of roses.  All right all right, so it's a hoax.  As a vegetarian (who eats lots of beans) and with a possible gluten and dairy intolerance, I know full well that a little lady like myself can let em rip and by golly you better roll down the window.  I'm still sticking to my glistening beads of crystal theory though.
      Holy awkward blog post batman!  How did all this talk about the happenings of my digestive system become the topic of conversation?!  Oh, right, the weather....

      So, yes, we've had two beautiful, cool and comfortable days now seeming to be sandwiched in between a bona fide heat wave of the Green Mountains (though it's more like the east in general).  I think, the last time I remember it being this hot was when we had a Slip and Slide on the lawn next to our house and I wasn't self conscious enough to wear shorts over my bathing suit bottoms or a top much too small.  I was probably eight or nine.  Being that it's been (according to my highly reliable memory...) a bit over 15 years since Vermont has seen this kind of summer, we obviously don't know how to handle such heat.  You'd think that (as I did when in Vietnam) after a week of low 90's and high humidity, one would become accustomed to the feeling of being sweaty (or glistening) and stop whining about it.  But no, everyday in Vermont is a day to complain.  Too cold, too snowy, not enough snow, too much rain, too dry, too humid, you get the gist.  So I've made a decision to enjoy whatever is thrown our way this summer.  95 with 120% humidity? Great!  I needed to loose a few pounds anyway.  Gale force winds and monsoon rain that flattens corn fields and leaves remains of trees littered in every yard, road and driveway in a ten mile radius?  Perfect!  No shortage on firewood this winter!

      I've made this decision because I know that it's impossible to keep from whining like a little girl about her tights on Easter Sunday when winter rolls around so whether my perfect temperature of 73.6 degrees or a sweltering 98 degrees, I will enjoy the warmth of my bones while it lasts, because I know all too well that the icy grips of winter will be holding us hostage soon enough.  Until then, I will relish in the lush green of my surroundings and the sweet smell of sunshine on my browned skin.
What is there to hate if we choose to love instead.
      Nothing says sunshine and warm weather like a delicious glass of sun tea and lemonade and a jar of fresh pickles....Ok, maybe those don't go so well, but they both are tasty and as I've just made my first batch from our very own, homegrown cucumbers, I'm excited to share my favorite pickle recipe with you.  Stay tuned for that recipe to hit the air waves...well you know...

mmm bickles

Weather Forecast photo courtesy of:

Slip and Slide photo courtesy of:

Pickle photo courtesy of yours truly.