Friday, September 02, 2011

I'm in a pickle or at least in a pickle mood. For a long time now, I have yearned to make pickles. The dream was to grow my own cukes and them put them up. #!@#&@&* varmints kept me from growing the bumper crop in the past. This year I didn't feel settled enough to start a garden still the dream has not yet died.
Recently I saw a post on Mennonite Girls Can Cook for No-Can Bread and Butter Pickles and I just couldn't stand it any longer. I NEEDED to make pickles. I decided to just buy the cucumbers and make a batch. That was going to be the easy part. Trying to find a one-gallon jar proved a little more difficult. Enter my local True Value Hardware store, my 'go to' one-stop shop for all things 'old-fashioned'. They did not disappoint.
Next on my list of purchases was pickling salt. Clearly suburban San Diego is not the epicenter for all things homemade as this item was a little more difficult to locate. After some online research, I learned that pickling salt is simply salt with no additives which will cause your bounty to turn an unappetizing color. While I never located 'pickling salt' I did find a nice container of sea salt that fit the no-additive requirement.
Armed with my salt and all of the cucumbers in the market, I came home ready to get to work.
I sliced those cukes and put them in the jar. They are not as tightly packed as I would have liked, but remember I bought all that I could.
Next I cooked up the pickling liquid and poured it in the jar.
Can I say that it smells just wonderful? The jar is cooling on the counter, then into the fridge it goes. I can hardly wait to give them a try.
My work was not yet done though. A few weeks ago, Hubby made a request for pickled hot peppers. Again I had to buy the peppers rather than pick from the garden, so my jar is not nearly as full as it could have been.
Still we now have a small supply of pickled peppers. Fall is coming and with it meals like black-eyed peas with buttermilk cornbread. These peppers are the perfect accompaniment.
On the quilting front, I'm happily working away on A Penny Saved.
I'm working on the fourth row of pennies. What I love most at this point is that with strategic folding, it looks like a lot more!

13 comments:

Mrs. Sew and Sew - Karen said...

My granny always had a garden. So did my dad. My granny canned everything. My mom worked but did a little canning. She did pickles once or twice. I remember those pickles....yummy. Looking at your pickles make my mouth water just remembering. I have never done pickles but have canned peas, beans, etc. I need to put pickles on my to do list. Think I will try to grow me some cukes next year. Enjoy and thanks for the inspiration and memories! Have a great weekend!

Cheryl said...

Those pickles look soooo good!

Karen said...

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

WoolenSails said...

I have tons of cucumbers growing still, so I marinate them in lemon juice and dill, tastes like a pickle to me;)

Debbie

Quilts And Pieces said...

All the fun things you make that make me hungry.... at least pickles don't do that to me! :)

dee said...

Yum! I love the Mennonite Girls site. They have really delicious recipes. Have you tried "Ezra Poundcake"? Her recipes are excellent-never had a bad one.

The Pennies quilt looks so lovely.

Jeanne said...

That jar of pickles looks so good! I can almost smell the aroma of the spices and hear the crunch of my first bite.

Candace said...

Sometimes we just have to "cheat" a little to satisfy our cravings - lol! I wouldn't tell a soul I used store-bought cukes! They look incredible, Libby! We are True Value believers, too - in fact I even bought my long underwear there last year - we don't have a Nordstrom in our tiny neck of the woods, but True Value works for me!
Cheers!

Shakerwood said...

About 4 cucumbers for us this year. Not 4 cucumber plants, just 4 cucumbers. Deer apparently wanted to make pickles, too.

I have a recipe from my Sweet Granny that I always wanted to try but it looks difficult. Yours looks pretty easy. How do they taste?

Judy said...

My father made the best bread and butter pickles ever eaten by me. SOOO good. He used to hit the farms around here and buy tons of bushels of slightly smaller cucumbers and make the best B&B batches that we'd load up in the smaller mason jars, seal and then keep on the big shelves in the garage. Yours look great!

Amish Stories said...

When i stop at an Amish food stand one of the first things that i grab is a bottle of pickles. I prefer the sour pickles. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Dixie said...

Jim and I made bread and butter pickles a couple of years ago - they were fun to make, but the boiling vinegar/brine mixture about did us in with the smell! Yours look great!

Quilter Kathy said...

Love that you are as obsessed as me! I have made one batch of pickles, but now I want to make more :)