Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Food and Furthermore IV

Refrigerator Dill Pickles and more.... With such cute, wee cucumbers at our local farmer's market, and with a bit of leftover dill Memorial Day's potato salad, I was compelled to produce pickles... Refrigerator pickles are ever so much better than heat processed pickles. CRUNCH! That's the big difference, in a word. You'll also appreciate how easy and inexpensive it is to make quarts and quarts. (Scroll down to the bottom for the recipe.) I make as many as we'll need for a couple of months, and a few extra jars to share.

In fact, I just gave my pesty little brother a jar of pickles and a jar of strawberry jam. He deadpanned, "Do you think my wife is pregnant?" Although the thought was far from my mind, he does have five children and the "baby" is turning three this month. You just never know when pickles and jam might come in handy, Roy. Here are three of his girls plus one of mine. His oldest girl (top right) just cut off her braid to donate to "Locks of Love." What a gal! Furthermore, we had loads of company this weekend. We live across the street from my parents, so whoever visits them, visits us, too. (That's mostly a good thing!) I'm crazy about my nieces and nephews. Just look at that face!And furthermore, we celebrated my superhero Dad's 67th birthday. I still think he could be the President of the US, or an FBI agent, or at the very least John Wayne. Plus, he put up with me when I was a teenager. The least I can do is make his favorite chocolate mayonnaise cake. My British great grandma used to make it for him when he was a boy, chock full of dates and walnuts. (I'll pass on the recipe-if anyone wants it. Leave a request in the comment section.) It's surprisingly delicious to grown-ups, but I divide the batter in half and make some plain chocolate mayonnaise cupcakes, too-with a cute candy initial piped from vanilla melts. Actually, I don't even admit to the kids that there is mayonnaise in the cake at all. See how fun my Dad is? You've got to have a sense of humor to raise 10 kids. Especially if 8 of them are girls. And at least one of the boys (Roy) is excessively pesty.
Here's what the ex-basketball star got for his birthday. I wonder if he'll still be willing to help me practice my right hook....
Now on to those little pickles....

Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Estimated cost: $5.00

Notes: The price will vary depending on the cost of your local cucumbers, but it's still going to be lots cheaper than purchasing pickles.

about 10 Kirby cucumbers, sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

fresh dill, about 10 sprigs

6 cups water

2 cups vinegar

1/4 cup salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon black pepper
Layer cucumbers, onion, and garlic in clean glass bottles. In a medium saucepan, boil water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Let cool for five minutes. Pour over cucumbers in jars to cover and refrigerate. (If you run out of liquid, just add equal parts water and vinegar.) Cucumbers will be best after one week-but I can never wait that long. Good luck!

Coming Tomorrow: Using your Root Beer Barbecue Sauce on Grilled Chicken-plus a leftover bonus


Anonymous said...

I'm not a pickle person, but these look too good to pass up! So you may just convert me into a pickle loving carnivore! We had so much fun with you this weekend and all the pictures of the kids look adorable! We can't wait to do it again in 3 weeks!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

The picture of your dad with the cake is so funny! I like the letters on top of the cupcakes!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Your father totally has presidential/FBI/and Wayne worthy hair! And I am saving this recipe for next year when I plant pickle cucumbers. Mmmmmm. No garden this year, though.

Mary Kate said...

I love your pickles. You made me a delicious sandwich topped with thsese delectable crunchy things. I can't wait to make some. Loved all the pics. How did you pipe your letters on the cupcakes? Is it frosting? I could not tell. Thanks.
PS. I have for some reason always taken great pride in our father's hair!

Babs Renouf said...

We want to know when that mini restuarant will be opening again? From pickles to chocolate cake, one handsome dad and those delightful children, you are indeed a lucky lady. Love Babs

Michal said...

happy birthday, big jack! i love love love dill pickles and have never made them myself. i'm off to the farmer's market for cucumbers and dill. yummy.

by the way, those can't really be roy's????? ming-y (i know i'm slaughtering the spelling) was a toddler the last time i saw her! yikes!

Prudy said...

Oh, I've got to get you to give a pickle a try. I'll make you a swiss panini on rye next time you come.
I'm glad you like the letters-that means a lot coming from a pro.
Ice Cream:
It's also bishopric hair, right?
MK: I piped those with vanilla candy melts. You can get them at Michal's or JoAnn's. I'll show you when you come next time.
I am lucky. Thank you. I wouldn't be lucky without you.
I'm so glad you are back in the blogosphere. You had me worried. I'll pass on your birthday greeting. You'll love your pickles, promise.

Brentwood Kitchen Shopper said...

Great picture of your dad. Very funny.

Jim Thomas said...

I'm going to try and make those pickles.. They look delicious.

Emiline said...

Ha ha- he's funny!

Macy said...

(delurking - found your blog through Michal) I would love the cake recipe, please. I have loved your blog. Such great recipes and ideas.

Brittany & Ryan Petersen said...

How do you make those letters?

Stacey said...

Hi I am a reader of others blogs and I got your blog off of Michal's blog. Anyway, I am trying to make the pickles and I noticed in the recipe it doesn't mention when and where to add the dill. It might be obvious to some, but I am a novice at this so please help. :) Thanks!

taffi said...

I've been searching the web for a yummy looking fridge pickle recipe... then I realized, "I think Prudy had one!"

Guess whose recipe I'm trying today? :grin: Everything else of yours has been met with rave reviews - I'm sure the pickles will be delish!