Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pickles (I am Salivating)

I think I have loved pickles from the first moment I tried them, and I have no idea when that was.  It was before my memories existed, for sure, so I have probably liked them since I started eating solid foods.  When we moved to the farm in the early 90's, we planted all the necessities for making our own pickles in our hot mess of a garden and it was productive, giving us lots of cucumbers which my mom had us pick when they were still small enough to pack into jars.  We also planted the dill.  I can't remember if we planted the garlic or onions since my dad would prefer to avoid visible onions in any food he eats!

I will never forget the smell of the kitchen during the canning process.  It is a good but also bad smell.  I liked it but maybe not everyone would...kind of like how some poeple say they like the smell of gasoline at the gas station (yucky!).  My mom prepared the jars with the dill and other flavor necessities and my sister and I stuffed the pickles in until they were very tight and then the vineagar was added last.  I think my grandma must have been there as well.  Since it was my first time being around canning, I didn't know until that day that you wouldn't get to eat pickles right had to wait at least two months!  Ugh!  That was dissapointing!

Last year Justin's mom made a big batch of a delicious pickle alternative...refidgerator pickles!  They don't require the sterilization, boiling, sealing, and waiting that regular canning involves.  Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law came home from work with bags full of garden fresh cucumbers which he and my sister don't like to eat!  I like eating cucumbers plain so I sliced a few up but soon was yearing for more delicous cucumber dishes.  I made a cucumber salad to share for the weekend and then I tried something new...I made my own batch of refridgerator pickles because I know I love them and my sister does too! 

Here they are, ready for the vineager!  My food photography always looks bad...I think there is some sort of trick to it.  Well, I know that food in magazines is often coated with shellac or is even completely fake so I guess I don't feel so bad. 

They were easy to make and taste delicious.  I was not too impressed with my slicing abilities.  The ones Mary made were sliced very thin and the onions were so thin they were almost translucent.  I think I need a special tool to do that (and I think I have one in the drawer of kitchen gadgets back at home)!   Chopping onions is very traumatic for me.  My eyes cannot handle it and tears pour out of my eyes the whole time until I can barely see and just start hacking at them to get the job done so I can wash my hands and wipe my eyes.  If they are on hand I sometimes put on my swimming goggles but even they don't completely block the fumes.  I have read that putting the onion in the freezer for a few minutes can stop the fumes but it hasn't worked for me yet! 

My first pickles turned out fine, even though they were only refridgerator pickles...with huge chunks of onions in them...Oh well, those are easy to pick out!  Haha!

No comments: