And by “pickle,” we actually mean pickles! No really…keep reading…
Things were pretty slow here this week, thanks in no small part to the H-E-A-T-W-A-V-E. As crazy as the wet, wet weather of June was, this week was so dry that we were practically begging for rain! Most of our work this week went into making sure the garden had enough water. Last year we set up an irrigation system. This year, the set up remains unset. With the changes and expansions we made to the garden layout, it’s actually just easier to water every evening than to rejigger irrigation hoses that won’t reach to all the plants anyway. Though each evening promised rain, none came. Most of the plants survived the extremely hot, dry days — we did end up losing a portion of a cucumber plant, but that was it. We made fairly short work of our water stores over the week. And just when we thought our rain barrels were gong to run dry, BAM! thunderstorm Saturday evening. It was…wonderful.
Though one cucumber plant met its demise, the rest of the plants have been very prolific, which meant…pickles! A couple weeks ago, we wrote a little about a refrigerator pickle recipe that we once had but was now missing. Well, it was still missing when we went to look for it other day. So, we went to the internet and our stash of cook books to get some ideas. After some searching, we devised the following recipe:
2-3 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dill
Combine all ingredients except cucumbers in a small pan, bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute, and cool. Sanitize jars and lids in boiling water. Remove jars and lids from water and let them dry and cool. Pack cucumbers into jars (not quite to the top) and pour in the brine. Let the jars cool to room temperature before screwing on the lids. Place jars in refrigerator. Pickles can be eaten in 24 hours, or are best after at least three days.
Um…that last sentence might be made up…but it’s what we remember from the lost recipe. We let them sit for a week before trying. We’ll probably do the same with this round. Oh, we also used large mason jars — think spaghetti jar-size. The recipe above is enough to fill a 28-30 ounce jar. Presumably, it could easily be split into smaller jars.
Also, also…since we made up this recipe, we’re not entirely sure how they’re going to turn out….so we can’t really recommend it yet. Whatever the results are, we’ll let you know next week!
In addition to dealing with excess cucumbers, we also had to make use of our basil, some of which was just wilting away in the heat.
This evening we put some of the smaller basil in a veggie/chicken coconut curry — it was the perfect addition. The other basil made its way onto pizza. It’ll be great when our tomatoes start coming in and we can start making sauces. Till then, this week promises to be cooler and sunny with some rain, and we know our plants are looking forward to “normal” weather as much as we are!