On today’s agenda……Yep! It’s pickle time here!
It’s amazing what a little rain will do. Friday I just found a few little guys out in the garden. Now it’s Monday and Wowzer! I picked a peck to pickle! And blooms galore! Some of these guys got almost too big. But not to worry, they will find their way into one of my pickle jars.
We have a few favorite recipes and I’ll share the links below but today I am making Claussen Copycat Pickles! It’s one of our favorites and an every year must make!
And, another bonus! I am totally thrilled. My dill came in just as my cucumbers started producing! Yea! In years past, my dill patch, which I continue to struggle with every year trying to get an abundance, was usually ready before my cucumbers resulting in…….sigh……having to use dried dill weed or dill seed. But, not this year! This year I will have these pretty little dill heads to showcase in my pickle jars. Flavor and a lovely, earthy presentation!
And, while I’m on the subject of pretty and presentation; while picking cucumbers this morning I noticed that one plant was producing funky shaped cukes! Not that I mind but I was curious as to causation.
This year I planted late. (and, whoa is me because I didn’t start a garden journal this year as I usually do so I don’t have specifics at my fingertips to help me analyze…..note to self, next year, document!)
I planted four hills with three seeds each. (Those are my cucumber plants on the right along the fencing. I planted my rows north to south. Last year, this area had tomatillo plants. I rotate my crops every year).
The first planting didn’t take except for one small plant at the north end of the fence. I left that plant and replanted more on that hill and the other three hills.
This area of the garden gets the same amount of sun throughout the day. The same amount of water when I water (which was twice this year with a sprinkler. And, of course, when (if) it rains, the plants get the same amount of rainwater.
The seeds were old seeds (two or three years old). Same variety from the same package. (Boston Pickling Cucumbers are usually what I plant…..again with the lack of journaling…….smacks forehead here!)
Anyway, just found it interesting that all of the cucumbers from the three hills on the south have pretty, straight cucumbers. That one hill to the north has more curved and a funky one or two. Not that looks matter, mind you; the taste is still delish. Just an interesting observation this morning.
Enough about cucumbers and gardens for now. Back to the good stuff!
Here are some recipes I’ve come across over the years. I did not create these recipes; I take no credit; I am merely sharing.
These are just some of our favorites. Of course when preserving and canning make sure you follow the proper guidelines.
Claussen Copycat Pickles! Our most favorite. These stay crunchy because they aren’t processed. They are crisp and sour and salty perfection. They keep for a long, long time. We are still eating some from last year; over a year in the fridge (Yep, we have more than one refrigerator. It’s a home garden/farm necessity here). I pretty much follow the recipe exactly except I add a few peppercorns to the jars. Cut the cucumbers however you like; sometimes I do slices (thick and thin), spears, chunks, halves, and small whole.
This is a recipe for sweet pickle relish. Makes me want to fix hotdogs for dinner every night! It is very similar (if not exactly the same) as the one I use. Mine is from a “Ball” cookbook (my cookbook is definitely showing signs of wear and tear; I’ve had it for ages). Sometimes I add jalapenos to my recipe for a little sweet heat!
This recipe is for Sweet Lime Pickles. This is Greg’s favorite; “like Grandma Ida used to make”. These are a must have for Greg each year. The lime makes them super crunchy and these pickles are super, super sweet, almost like candy.
This recipe for refrigerator pickles I’ve had for years. I don’t know where I found it or who gave it to me so I can’t give credit where credit is due. There are similar recipes out there but I couldn’t find this exact one so I’m just going to jot it down here for you.
These are sweet but not overly so. I make them in a big glass jar (looks pretty). Good all on their own as a side salad. I don’t make these with the intention of preserving them. Just make a batch and eat ’em till they’re gone.
- 7 cups sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1 green pepper cut into thin strips
- 2 TBSP salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 tsp mustard seed (I’m a freak for mustard seed; I always add more)
- 1 tsp celery seed
Mix together the cucumbers, onions, green pepper, and salt. Let them stand for one hour. Do NOT, do not, do not drain off the liquid that forms.
Bring the vinegar, sugar, mustard seed and celery seed to a boil to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Pour over cucumber mix. Let stand in fridge for 24 hours. Enjoy.
Make someone’s day! A gift from your garden or something homemade from your kitchen is an unexpected delight! Share the joy of gardening and abundance!
Have a terrific day!
Here is the first batch today!
Ended up with 5 quarts of Claussen Copycat Pickles, one batch of refrigerator pickles, and of course some munching along the way!