Strawberries from the Garden

Strawberries from the Garden

Jul 12, 2011

My Dill Pickle Recipe

6 pounds of cucumbers (cut into spears and/or chips)
2/3 cup pickling salt
6 quarts of water (enough to cover)

Spices for each Jar:
1/4 teasp. dill seed
1/4 teasp. yellow mustard seed
1 sprig of fresh dill
1 clove of garlic
1/8 teasp. (or a pinch) of Alum

Vinegar Mixture:
2 cups cider vinegar
4 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
1Tablespoon Sugar

Bring the Vinegar Mixture to a boil to prepare for pouring over the cucumber packed jars.

I process my pickles in a water bath canner for 20 minutes and let them cure for as long as possible before opening. (easier said than done!) At least 4-6 weeks!

My First Dill Pickles of the Season

So today I was able to can the first dill pickles of the season and now I can't wait for the next batch. It's one of those things that I kind of dread preparing for in terms of kitchen prep. Gathering all of the 'canning gear' and the large canner and making sure there is enough 'undisturbed' counter space for the jars to cool. But once you start, it's addictive! So this was the first thing I canned this year and I am excited for the next canning experience! 
Judging by the quantity of yellow squash I have this year, I may have to come up with something creative for a lot of yellow squash! Pickles? Relish? Any suggestions?

Jul 11, 2011

Early Italian Purple Garlic Harvest, 2011

 I am so excited! This weekend I was able to harvest my garlic and it looks like it did very well. I had never planted a lot of garlic and I had never planted an early soft neck variety.

I waited until about 40-50% of the tops had turned golden and had all started to lay over. It seems that maybe the instant summer we experienced may have hurried along this process. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the garlic grew.

I knocked off the excess dirt and laid all of the garlic on plastic gardening trays with the vented bottoms. Now the garlic will dry for about 2-3 weeks. Once the garlic is dry, I am going to try my hand at braiding garlic. (I'll keep you posted on my progress!)

I think now I want to try a fall planted variety and just see what happens. For the moment, we definitely have enough garlic to last until our next harvest. (and we eat a lot of garlic . . . )