Friday, April 23, 2010

Start Now

Last fall, in an effort to use the cucumbers that seemed to appear every time I set foot in my garden, I searched out pickle recipes. The homemade pickles of my childhood were ok…I think it’s pretty hard to mess up a garnish…and the copious amounts of cucumbers I had on hand last fall were slicing cukes, so my expectations were not very high; but I had to do something.

I found this recipe from my favorite organic farming book, and it was really pretty simple.

Dill Pickles

Pack 3 lbs. small pickling cukes or thinly sliced slicing cukes into 6 clean pint jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Add to each jar:

1 garlic clove

1 head of dill (or 1 tsp dill seed)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a stainless or enameled kettle bring the following to a boil:

3 1/4 cup water

3 1/4 cup vinegar

6 T salt 

Pour boiling mixture over cucumbers in the jars leaving 1/4 “ head room. Tighten lids and  process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. The full flavor of these pickles develops in about 2-3 weeks.


I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to try these, and waited about four months (when we finally used the last store bought pickle) to try them. I’m a fan of a crunchy pickle, and these looked a little soft and squishy, so I closed my eyes, held my breath and popped one in my mouth.


I went back for more, and shared with my two year old, who came back for more. I gave some to the rest of the gang and they all came back for more.

Who knew?

Then last week I made a roast and used the left over pickle juice to cook it in. It was by far the best roast we’ve ever had…and we’ve had some tasty roast.

The moral of the story?

Get started!


Find yourself some cucumber seeds and get them planted (after last frost) and when you and your neighbors are sick of fresh cukes…lucky day.

Food on Fridays with Ann Kroeker

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! So they weren't crunchy though? I too prefer crunchy pickles - how is that accomplished? What a novel idea to use the juice for your roast. I will have to remember that!

    Have a great weekend . . . it is raining here so I don't think we will get much planted!


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