Sunday, July 17, 2011

Home Made Dill Pickles - A First Experiment

Making Your own pickles is a great way to put all those extra vegetables to use
So my backyard garden is producing cucumbers at an alarming rate. We've been eating quite a few of them, and even gave a few to our neighbors, but it's clear that we will have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. There is one thing that can help preserve all these great fresh cucumbers, and put them to good use later- I guess the saying should be- if life gives you cucumbers, make pickles! (OK, so that's not the saying, but you get the idea). I've never made pickles before, but the process is fairly simple if you have a a lot of cucumbers, a few basic pantry items, and the right mix of spices. After hunting around for some information about pickling, I found a general process that's easy enough to be a starting point for what will probably be a whole summer of pickling...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Simple Fresh Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad served with a light lunch
As a kid, vegetables of any kind (even ones that were actually a fruit...) were a hard sell. There were few that I would eat, and it was nearly impossible to convince me otherwise, unless you dumped a gallon of cheese sauce on it. I also came from a family that always had a backyard garden- so we typically had fresh cucumbers (among other things- I would actually pick and eat string beans raw even though I only tolerated them cooked). My mom used to cut up the cucumbers and make a very simple salad from them, that I actually liked. A big part of that was the fact that the cucumbers were typically picked about 60 seconds before being served- even kids can tell the difference between fresh, quality produce, and the cheap stuff that's been sitting around too long.  Here's my take on Mom's simple cucumber salad...