Friday, August 20, 2010

Canning Pickles

It's canning season and I thought I'd share my favorite dill pickle recipe. It was my moms and my grandmas and I'm sure my great-grandmas...and so on!!

I planted pickling cukes this year, but don't really have enough so I got a box of them at my local farm, where I get them every year. Unfortunately you have to take what they give you, so my cukes are a little bigger than I like.

First order of business...clean 'em up!! I take a scrub brush to each one and clean them really well. This also gets the little "pricklies" off too!
I cut off each end and then with scientific preciseness, prick each cuke 3 - 4 times with a corn skewer!!! I've never seen this in a recipe, but my mama did it and so do I!!!! If you have a 16 year old sitting around doing nothing (which is what 16 year olds do), you can have him do the piercing. WARNING: He will protest!!! Ignore him and put him to work!!!!
Fill your clean jars with a big sprig or two of dill, a sliced clove of garlic and then carefully pack your jars, quite tightly, with cukes.

Ladle your hot brine over the cukes, get out any air bubbles, seal and water bath for 7 minutes.

Right after you take them out of the canner, they look a little cloudy...

But a few days later the cukes have soaked up the brine, and are starting to look like pickles!!! Let them sit for a month or so to really take on the flavor.

Put them in front of your cute, old toy stove, accessorized with American Girl canning goodies and post to your blog!!!!

Wash and scrub cucumbers. Cut off bottoms and tops and pierce with a fork or corn skewer 3- 4 times each.
In clean, wide-mouth quart jars place:
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 - 2 sprigs of dill
Pack cukes tightly in jars, leaving about 1" head space
3 C vinegar
9 C water
3/4 C salt
Bring to a boil and boil until salt is dissolved.
Pour brine over cucumbers, remove air bubbles and seal.
Process in a water bath for 7 minutes.
This recipe makes 7 quarts. If I have any brine left over I just add dill and garlic to a jar, slice up a few cukes, pour on the brine and let it sit in the fridge...very tasty!! and you can add to the jar as you use up the cukes.
Don't forget to let the processed pickles sit for a month to absorb the flavor. I like to refrigerate mine before using as they are a little crisper when cold.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Garden

I am loving my garden right pretty and giving me such yummy goodies. I am amazed at God' creation. The way he takes a tiny, shriveled up seed and creates such bounty with it!

I have so many volunteer sunflowers and pumpkins...I just can't stand to pull them out, so I let them grow willy-nilly all over my garden!
I got this great wheelbarrow at a garage sale last week...$5.00!!!! Love the metal wheel!!!!

Dill...also growing voluntarily all over my garden!!

Lots and lots of broccoli...been freezing that!

I love to grow cabbage, but don't do much with it!! The purple is my favorite!!

My beans are finally starting to get some blossoms...very slow this year.

My mailbox that I keep yard tools in...sometimes my rhubarb leaves me a note...

I pickled lots of yummy!!! Eating beets, summer squash, zucchini, peas and lots of blueberries, but not from my bushes. I love to walk through every evening and look for goodies. I love to put up produce, but I'm not fanatical about using up everything. Just like to have it and to give it away!!!
Can't wait for pumpkins!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Birthdays and Friendships

Another beautiful weekend here in the Pacific Northwest!!!

Thursday was dearest friend Lynda's birthday so she, Terry and I headed down to Snohomish for a few hours of fun and birthday gifts!!!!
My photography was lacking...I only took four pictures!! But I loved all the old washers set up outside the businesses, full of flowers!!!

Love this one...never seen a washer like that before!
And here is the birthday girl herself, outside our favorite store, The Speckled Hen. (How does one remove the reflective things in the picture???) Isn't she adorable??? Happy Birthday Betty dear!!!

The next night, we headed down to Woodinville with our friends, Perry and Linda, to the Chateau St. Michelle winery for a summer concert. Jackson Browne is a favorite of my husbands. I must admit, that I wasn't too keen on this concert as I've been to a few of the oldies down there and they just don't do much for me! I wanted to go the night before and hear Martina!!!

But I put on my big girl pants and went along...took my ipod just in case!!! I wish I would have taken more pictures. We went to a special reception before hand and the food was amazing, the grounds beautiful! You get a free wine glass when you come in and then free wine the rest of the night. My first glass lasts me all night, because I don't drink much, but I do love the glasses!!!

You're not supposed to take pictures (or have a camera with you) so I had to do some smuggling!!!
They had a big tent set up with lots of cheeses, crackers and a bounty of desserts (and more wine) which we visited more than once!!!

And can I just say what a wonderful concert this was???? He was truly great!!! Lots of ballads and acoustical pieces, very mellow and fun.
I also didn't get a picture of the lady a few rows in front of us who was doing interpretive dancing to Every Song he Sang!!!! It was quite entertaining!!

If I knew how to photo shop my arm would NOT be in the picture!!!!
A beautiful night with great friends!!!!