Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Joys of Summer: Pecks of Pickles!

My "sun dills" are out on the deck sitting on the table, curing and will be put in the fridge on Saturday. 

GARDEN UPDATE:  We are finally starting to realize some reward for our work in the garden.  When first put in, the weather was cold, and very, very wet.  Then we seemed to have about a month of fair weather, and now, it is VERY hot and VERY dry.  It's difficult to keep two good-sized gardens watered, but so far we've been able to do it, thank goodness for a well.  

We are starting to harvest; zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and the potatoes and the onions are just about ready to dig, meaning we may get a second crop in on that same spot.  I have also been getting a TON of peppers, we plant several varieties so we can use them in canning, so a lot of those have been washed, cored and chopped to keep in the freezer until the tomatoes are ready to come in and be processed.  Meanwhile, we can eat as much fresh of all these items as we want.  Summer is truly a wonderful season!

I am making pickles with some of the cukes, I rarely make canned pickles for the shelf, I am more inclined to make these for the fridge, I have better luck with them for some reason.  Today I am sharing a pickle recipe that I can make when I save the pickings for two or three days at a time.  I thought you might like it.

Do you have some cucumbers, but not enough for a whole canner full?   You can make sun dills!  I enjoy making these and better yet, we love eating them!  

But I can do a batch of these sun dills several times a summer.  
They actually turn out tasting better than any canned pickles I've made.

First you'll need a jar with a screw-on lid, this recipe is for a gallon.  I used these half-gallon jars, bought for me by my husband at the hardware store.  A half-dozen of these jars are priced under ten dollars. They work out well, because the half-gallon jars fit into our fridge much more easily.  I'll just put them back into the cardboard case when I'm done and use them again next summer.

The flavor of these pickles is an excellent garlic-flavored kosher--better than your best refrigerated dill at the grocery store.  A deli-dill pickle.  And they have crunch...brought on by those grape leaves!


Two half-gallon jars or a one-gallon jar with screw-on lid
Wash pickles, cut out bad spots and leave whole
Grape leaves:  2-3 for each layer, washed
Fresh dill, washed (use generously!)
fresh garlic toes
About forty-fifty pickling cucumbers, or enough to fill a gallon jar, packed tightly

In the bottom of the jar start with a layer of 
Heads of DILL,
1-2 garlic cloves,
Then PICKLES (I use small to medium picklers for this, NEVER large ones.)
Take the pickles halfway up the jar and then start over again with the grape leaves, dill, garlic, and end with the grape leaves on top, under the lid.

Then add this solution to the jar when it's stuffed with the pickles, dill, grape leaves and garlic cloves: 

6-1/2 cups water
3-1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 c. Kosher salt
stir to dissolve salt and pour over and then seal the jar and set out in the sun for a week, turning once daily.  Refrigerate when done and ENJOY!

AND...for those cucumbers that get forgotten and picked too large, and are TOO BIG for being cute little dill pickles, there's this recipe for the fridge for a nice quick sweet/sour pickle to serve for dinner the next day, something quick and fresh.

7-8 pickling cukes
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper
1 T. Kosher salt
2 t. celery seed
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. white vinegar

How about YOU?


[pek]  Show IPA
a dry measure of 8 quarts; the fourth part of a bushel, equal to 537.6 cubic inches (8.81 liters).
a container for measuring this quantity. Abbreviation:  pk, pk.
a considerable quantity: a peck of trouble.


Unknown said...

Hello! What a beautiful blog you have. I am so happy you found a way to my own a left a comment for me to discover yours. I have had such fun looking through pasts pages of posts and your beautiful photography. I nearly couldn't believe that your favorite secret spot in Michigan is also my family's. Shhh, I won't say a word! We spent such a lovely day there this summer on our vacation to Frankfort. You have the most welcoming home, and I look forward to more visits to see it! Elizabeth

Holly said...

I always love new canning recipes!!! I did all my pickles last year, but I'll try these next year!!! My garden is finally producing too!!! I love filling up the pantry and freezer, preparing for the fall and winter!!!
Lots of cherries and raspberries now. Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli too. The yellow squash sould be ready by next week...the peas too. Can hardly wait!

Erin said...

I love pickles. Especially the bread and butters. Yous look so pretty.

Joy said...

Ha ha, I kept playing 'peck' over and over. I know, I need to get a life. Your photos are fantasitc! Mine look like the camera has cataracts! Heeheee, I don't have a 'Cadillac Camera', I've got a 'cataract camera'!!

Joy said...

I might try those sun pickles. We do have grape leaves, and I don't want to use the high heat on my smooth top range--it ruins the glass top. 'Garlic toes'... ha, what a riot! I could say something here, but won't.

Those overnight bread and butters sound great too. And I'm saving up the peppers for the tomatoes that will come later, also. I am going to make salsa. The best salsa I've ever eaten was my own.

have a great day there at Centennial Farm.

Tiffany said...

Sounds great. We love pickles.

mary your sis said...

Smack, smack, pucker... those pickles sound good!

camp and cottage living said...

Hi Joni
I wanted to let you know I used your recipe for the sweet pickles yesterday. They are Yummy.
I have my mothers recipe with sugar and vinegar, but I like the idea of using honey. I did add some water and a little oil to extend it and it's still good.
I'll have to try thr creamsicle cake when the grandkids come!