Hope you had a great weekend! mTa
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Fresh From my Garden!
Every year Mom and I plant a garden. It is typically full of zinnias, daisies, and other cutting flowers for arrangements. In the past, we have planted tomatoes, peppers and a few other select fruits/ veggies; but nothing ever extremely successful. Well this year we mistakenly picked up a cucumber plant at Home Depot and didn't realize it until we got home. I decided that it was just too much trouble to take it back to the store and return it so instead, I decided to plant it. Well come to find out, one small plant produces A BUNCH of cucumbers! So many that my family was getting sick of eating them in salads and we didn't know what else to do with them! I started looking for recipes and made some homemade Tzatziki sauce, otherwise known as Greek Cucumber dip. It turned out very yummy and lots of people enjoyed it. I made the tzatziki sauce twice and the plant was STILL producing so mom and I decided to pickle the cucumbers. I love pickles so I was willing to try this. First, you pick the cucumbers before they get too ripe and produce seeds. The best are green and have lots of warts on them. So pick them, clean them, and slice them. Next, you must sterilize the mason jars you are going to make and pack the jars full of the spears. make sure to cut off the ends if necessary. You have to buy pickling spices to do this and they are pretty hard to locate! We found them at a local hardware store. You can easily follow the directions on the back of the packet, you mix vinegar and water and spices, bring it to a boil until everything is dissolved and then fill all of the jars with the liquid. After you have filled the jars with cucumbers and the liquid solution, then you put the lid and the ring on the mason jars. Bring a giant pot of water to boil and place the full mason jars fully submerged into the water in an upright position. Let them boil for 10 minutes until the seal themselves. The pickles will be ready to eat in 24 hours but if the seal is broken, they should be eaten in the within 2 weeks. These pickles were delicious! I kept them in the fridge so that they were extra crispy! We made 3lbs worth so Mom has been giving these as gifts after putting some burlap on the top, a little ribbon around the lid, and a cute label on the jar!