I’m a Cancer so I’m naturally sensitive about things… a lot of things. We’ve got some tough exteriors but inside so many of us Cancers are a pile of sentimental mush.
While I’ve become passionate about quite a few issues as of late, recently my heartstrings have been tugged by stories about the families who live in DC General Family Shelter. The other night an idea hit me, while I can’t fix all the ills in the world I can make an effort to do my part. That’s when I came up with The Back to School Give Back, an initiative aimed at raising funds and collecting donations of school supplies for the children who will be heading back to school on August 25th and call DC General Family Shelter home.
To learn more and donate, visit here.
No donation is too small!
Thank you all for your support, the deadline for donations is August 19th.
One thing gardening will teach you is patience.
Before this summer I didn’t know anything at all about growing vegetables and herbs. I had no idea about how long it would take, how big plants can grow, about pruning and prime time to water; I knew nothing! So when my cucumbers weren’t growing, I got a tad bit impatient. However, it literally happened overnight… I went from not having any cucumbers growing in my garden at all, to being overwhelmed by a sea of cucumbers!
I was bringing in 1-2 cucumbers every other day and I like cucumbers but what was I supposed to do with that many??
Pickling is a great way to preserve food. Baaaaaack, back in the day before refrigeration systems became what they are today, food preservation options were extremely limited. Essentially you could share the wealth of having so many vegetables, you could smoke or salt meats or you could turn to pickling. It’s a super simple process and if you love tangy foods, it’s a great process to try. Particularly because you can pretty much pickle anything– eggs, veggies, fruits, pig’s feet…
But on to the recipe!
What You Need:
3 cucumbers, sliced in 1/3 of an inch slices
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
12 sprigs of fresh dill
1 tbspn peppercorns
3 tspn crushed red pepper flakes
3 tspn crushed garlic
3 bay leaves
A large pot
3 glass jars
**Recipe yields 3 eight ounce jars full**
Rinse and slice your cucumbers and set them to the side. After sterilizing your glass jars(click here for step-by-step directions), fill them with your herbs and spices– 4 sprigs of dill, 1 tbsp crushed garlic, 1 tspn crushed pepper, 1 tspn peppercorns and one bay leaf for each jar. Pack with sliced cucumber within an inch from the mouth of the jar.
At this point you can use a canner to make sure the jars are good & sealed or you can use the old fashioned method and place them in a large pot(I use a pasta pot) and cover them with water. Allow them to come to a boil and after boiling for about 15 minutes, the cans should be sealed. You’ll know because the top of the jar will be sucked in.Allow the cucumbers to sit in the brine on the counter overnight– you’ll see the cucumbers begin to change color and so will the brining liquid.After they’ve sat out over night, the pickles can keep in the fridge for up to 2 months or so.
This was my first time pickling cucumbers, my previous pickling experience involved peaches, but I was shocked by how much they really tasted like… pickles! But of course better than the ones you buy from the store because of the dill, and garlic, all with that hint of spiciness. SO good!
What should I pickle next??