Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's a Beautiful Morning!

I just went outside and smiled.

Actually, spring is just around the corner and I'm getting excited about it.  I do have some vivid memories of a Valentine's Day snowstorm, but I'm hopeful we are over the worst of winter.  Not just for me, but I've got a lot of tender shoots popping up all over my yard.  The trees are beginning to grow again.   I was reminded by a friend this morning, that I had promised a favorite pickle recipe.  Going through my pickle recipes and typing it out, really got me charged about spring/summer, my favorite time of year.   I thought others might enjoy this too, so I'm willing to share.

It truly is "Summer in a Jar".

Quick Baby Garlic Dills by the Quart

This recipe yields one quart, so you can multiply if you want to (no more than 7 times per batch though). It's designed for home gardeners that pick and pickle in the same day.

I have found that Asian markets tend to have pickling cukes when other stores do not....of course, I live in Oregon.

1 quart pickling cucumbers: thoroughly washed, blossom end gently scrubbed off (this maintains a crispy pickle)

2 fresh dill heads or you could use 2 T dill seed if you really had to

1-2 fresh hot chilies, halved

2 or more garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

2 t pickling salt (no iodine!)

1 cup distilled white vinegar

Wash jars and keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer recommends.

Pack the hot jars with cucumbers, then fill with the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour one cup vinegar into quart jar. (If you're making 2 pint jars, use 1/2cup per jar..duh, but that's what the recipe says) Now, fill the jar with boiling water so there is ½ inch of space at the top of the jar. Wipe jar rim with a clean cloth and attach lid.

Process by placing jar(s) in a canner filled halfway with warm water. Then add hot water to a level 1 inch higher than jar(s). Heat the water to 180-185 and maintain this temperature for 30 minutes.

You just made yourself some pickles!

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