Our children love the garden… most of the time. Like with most anything our children take things in spurts. Translation: 2 hours of chores in the garden ruins the fun of the garden.
But enjoying a fresh homemade crunchy pickle and then getting to harvest more cucumbers to make more pickles – that they are excited to do!
Our children have always enjoyed knowing when their snack or meal came from our property, be it vegetable, fruit or meat.
They sure have harvested a lot of different things, like carrots and cucumbers, but also wild edibles like beautyberry that we turned into jam and even curly dock!
They’ve also enjoyed some things that were made from ingredients off the farm, like Jennifer’s awesome Pumpkin Pie. But I digress…
Today was their day to harvest the crop, and boy did they. All told their harvest filled up one half-gallon mason jar, two one-quart mason jars and two one-pint mason jars. We made slices, spears and even left a few whole.
And, since we were in the garden we also harvested several zucchini and yellow crookneck squash as well. Our Garden Hod was packed full and quite heavy!
There are a few ways to go about pickling your cucumber harvest. For us we go the simple route and just make “refrigerator pickles”. They aren’t supposed to be able to be stored as long as pickles that have been canned, but ours never seem to stay in the refrigerator all that long anyhow.
So we use a simple 1 part water, 2 parts vinegar mixture with some not-really-measured add-ins like a clove or two of garlic and some dill and mustard seed with a good helping of honey. We warm it up real good to incorporate all the ingredients and let the mixture cool back to room temperature.
Meanwhile we do all our slicing and packing. We do have a large grape arbor/trellis, so we use grape leaves in our jars which do seem to really keep the pickles nice and crisp or crunchy. The leaf goes in first and then we fill up the jar with cucumber.
Once the pickle juice is cool we pour it over the cukes, put on a lid and band and pop in them in the fridge.
Eating Homemade Pickled Cucumbers
This is, I assure you, the worst part of the whole ordeal. You wait. Well… we wait. At least 3 days, but generally 1-2 weeks. We find the flavor is better balanced and the pickle is more enjoyable if we can stand waiting at least 1 week.
If you cannot stand waiting, that’s okay, you go ahead and indulge – we won’t judge.
And soon enough these jars will be empty, but by then we’ll have filled up a few more, and we hope you do too!
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