Friday, August 12, 2011

In a Pickle

The garden has begun to really produce, so the question arises "What do to with the abundance of produce?" My mother and hubby's grandmother used to slice cucumbers in a bowl, cover them with vinegar and water, salt, pepper, and maybe add a bit of onion. The dish would sit on the counter where we could snack on the vinegar treat all day.
I went a bit further. Inspired by a new canning jar that I bought at my favorite kitchen gadget store in Fort Collins, I looked up recipes on the web on refrigerator pickles, then made up my own: equal amounts of white distilled vinegar and water, a handful of dill from the garden that I let grow wildly uncontrolled, a few garlic cloves, onion, mustard seed, salt, and pepper.
 I sliced two medium sized cucumbers, leaving the skin on. Since we don't use any pesticides or fertilizers other than the time released fertilizer we use when we plant the seedlings, I wash the cucumbers well before I slice them. I pack in the dill and garlic then the cucumbers and onions. I add the seasonings to the liquid and pour the brine over the cucumbers.
 This jar has a rubber seal, insuring a tight seal. I don't think that this liter jar would be suitable for hot water canning, but for fresh, long lasting refrigerator pickles it is perfect. We have polished off this first batch, so I added more cucumbers to the brine last night. I'll use the brine twice before I replace it.

You could add red pepper seeds for a dash of color or any other spice or herb.  I let the cucumbers marinate for about a week, shaking the jar daily to make sure all of the flavors blend throughout the jar.  This type of pickling is quick, easy, tasty, and preserves the excess. I don't think you need a fancy jar, any container with a tight lid will work. It's just fun to have an inspirational piece to get one motivated. For Kelly at My Garden Diary, this might be a very good way to use your cucumbers that tend to be a bit bitter. 

Happy Anniversary

On another note, I have been pondering the last few days how to celebrate the Garden Spot's first anniversary. Thinking it was in September, I totally missed it. I launched my blog August 5, 2010. None the less, I have had a blast. With the snarkiness (is that really a word?) on Face Book, I spend much more time posting here. My blogger friends are a warm, gracious, funny, interesting, inspirational group. I love them all. I have a small following, 39, but a great following. I've made friends in England, France, Ireland, Croatia, Australia, Mexico, Holland, and all around the United States. Generally I post Sunday night and most often only once a week. Before I go to bed every night, I read my followers' posts, trying to leave witty, funny, interesting, encouraging posts, depending on the need, but sometimes I think my posts are dumb, and sometimes I just can't think of any thing smart to say, but I always read. In honor of my Fab 39, I have figured out how to display all of the blogs that I follow on my home page. I hope doing so helps to increase your traffic.

Finally, one week of summer left. Classes at the University of Northern Colorado begin Aug 22. Next week I will be attending meetings, classes, shopping for school clothes, cleaning house--actually, I am going to try to find a house cleaner to help out--cleaning my office, and psyching myself up to go back to work. Actually, I have just the best students: college freshmen, 18 year olds just taking on the world by themselves for the first time Can't believe that the summer has gone so quickly.  

Happy Blogging to All and thank you for your wonderful comments and support.


  1. Yum!!! I have a basket full of cukes that I'm going to do something with. Happy Blog Anniversary!

  2. I love pickles, pickled the way you are pickling them...Lol, I tried to write that with-out repeating the word pickle..but anywho, they taste much better and have a nice crunch..yummm!

    Happy blog Anniversary, for some reason I never remember to do this for myself. I started blogging in November of 2009 maybe I catch up and remember to do it this November.

    Hope you find the perfect housekeeper, do enjoy the rest of the summer we have left I agree it went by fast.

  3. A year goes so fast! Congratulations on the anniversary.

  4. Ann, that's the best thank you ever- and thank YOU! I do believe it's working. The Olive Oyl post got a lot of hits and I just published it a little while ago. Happy Anniversary!

  5. This is a wonderful idea! I don't have enough of anything to pickle right now. At one time I had so many chillies, I gave them to my neighbour and she pickled them. This is something I have never tried before. Someday when I'm a little more serious in gardening, I may just be able to dabble with pickling. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Love the idea, great for munching on while relaxing on a lazy Saturday or Sunday. Good luck finding a housekeeper. I have one who has been with me for 2 years. I absolutely adore her, and her work!