Yay! Pickle-making weekend has finally arrived. And just in time, as I was out of pickles.
My folks arrived Friday night with freshly-picked cucumbers from Imperial’s Garden outside of Wapato. They also brought with them my 13- and 11-year-old nephews. (A couple of hours later, the kids’ mom arrived with beer for me from her man, who knows I like good beer. That deserves an extra yay*!)
On Saturday, my 11-year-old nephew and I woke up early to go for a morning run through the wheat fields as part of our training for our 10k race that takes place on 10-10-10. We’d expected to come home to the smells of breakfast cooking, but the rest of the house was still sleeping! When they (finally) woke, we had a big breakfast to fuel us for a long day of pickle production.
My family’s dill pickles are the best! We use my (maternal) great-grandma’s recipe – with a couple of minor tweaks because of modern-day USDA guidelines. Despite the government’s intrusion**, they’re fantastic pickles!
My 13-year-old nephew and my foster daughter helped a bit with sorting cucumbers in the beginning, but spent most of the day hiding in the kid’s room playing. My other nephew, however, spent the entire day helping make pickles with an amazing amount of enthusiasm! To reward him for his hard work, he will get to taste the first pickle when they’re ready. To remind the other two that today was a team effort, they did all the dishes whilst the rest of us relaxed in the living room. (This reminder didn’t sit well with the dish-doers!)
I know you wish you were here with us for this exciting pickle-making weekend, so I come bearing fun things for you! Yes! A video, a recipe, and a photo gallery!
Mom’s Dill Pickles
(But really, they’re my great-grandma’s)
Put 1-quart cider vinegar, 1-quart water, and ½ cup pickling salt together in a non-reactive**** saucepan and boil for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture over small cucumbers which are packed tightly into jars along with garlic, peppers, and fresh dill. (Ratios to your taste.) Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
Want to try one of the totally awesome pickles that I made? Well, unless you’re a close friend or family member with plans to visit me in the next wee while, you probably can’t. Sorry about that!
* I haven’t decided if the extra yay was for the beer or my sister’s arrival.
** We are not bound by these guidelines, but if we want to enter things in the county fair, they must be made to USDA standards. Oh, and it’s meant to be safer.
*** Ratios of water/vinegar have been changed from the original to be in line with what we made. Dad also points out that some of the reasoning for this is that ‘in the olden days’ vinegar was more acidic than it is today.
**** Non-reactive saucepans are stainless steel, chip-free enamelware pan, or glass pans.