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Welcome! I created this site to share what we've done, talk about what we plan to do, and exchange ideas with other folks who are on the same path as us. Join us in the fun of living at Chickaree Hill Farm!

Friday, August 12, 2011

pickles, Pickles, PICKLES!!!

From talking with some of my friends, it's clear that this year is a good one for cucumbers!  This is my first year making pickles and I've tried a number of recipes.  I canned the batch I made today, but all the rest were "refrigerator pickles" - just put them in the fridge and they'll keep for a couple of months.

  • First I tried the basic dill pickle seasoning from Ball.  It was very good.  Using a seasoning packet makes things easier - all you do is boil water and vinegar, add the seasoning, and pour into your jars of cucumbers.
  • I made a Sweet Garlic Dill recipe from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving.  Honestly, I don't know why I made this one!  We don't like sweet pickles.  I guess I thought the garlic and dill would overpower the sweet, but they still tasted too much like bread and butter pickles to me. (blech!) Luckily, I found out that my neighbor loves sweet pickles so I gave her a couple of jars ... and then I made her a huge batch with cucumbers she had been given by another neighbor, so her sweet pickle craving has been fed!)  Making pickles from scratch as in this recipe is a bit more work but really quite simple.  You just have to measure out all of the individual spices.
  • Next I tried a recipe from the same book called Favorite Dill Pickles.  This one is awesome!  These taste like authentic deli pickles.  When we first tried them (about a week after I made them) they were still a little bit sharp from the vinegar, but a couple of weeks later they are perfect!  Definitely worth the wait.
  • Finally I tried another seasonings packet by a brand called Mrs. Wages.  It had gotten great reviews from a few websites, but honestly, we thought the Ball seasoning packet was better. 

This afternoon I made another batch of the Favorite Dill Pickles, plus a batch of Tangy Dill Pickle Relish.  Usually I don't like relish because it is too sweet, but this recipe uses lots of dill and garlic and is very good.  I can't wait to try some at our next barbeque!

Making these recipes was cool because not only were the cucumbers home-grown, so were the onions and the dill!  

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