The kids and I have been gardening again this summer. We have two small beds of veggies at home and we have a bigger garden at our friends' place out in the country, just like last year. It is oh-so-satisfying to grow your own veggies and then eat them for dinner the very same day. YUM! My kids are becoming good little gardeners/workers, too, which is an added bonus! They have been helping every step of the way: from planting, weeding, and harvesting, to eating.
So, what do you do with 25 cucumbers? Make pickles, of course. My sister passed this recipe on to me last year, which I've tweaked to my liking. They are so quick and easy to make. And so good, too!
Dill Refrigerator Pickles
In a 5 quart container (an ice cream bucket works well), place 4 heads of dill and 1 onion, sliced, in the bottom.
Slice (or cut into spears) enough cucumbers to fill the container. Set aside.
For the brine:
1/2 teaspoon alum
1 quart water
1 3/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 head garlic, slice each piece in half
1/3 cup canning salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/3 cup sugar
Mix brine ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat through. Pour over cucumbers and refrigerate.
Let pickles set for 24 hours before eating.
I've heard that they will keep in the refrigerator until Christmas, but we've never had them last that long. I've got a few too many pickle fans in the house for that to happen. :)
my other sister offered me some 'non-pickled' beets (boiled and then served with a touch of butter and salt and pepper)...and you know what? They are soooo good! My kids love them, too! As crazy as it sounds, they taste kind of like sweet corn. Now, I'm trying to figure out how I've gone 37 years without trying boiled beets?! It seems pretty crazy to me! Oh well. I guess now I know. :)