Quick Pickles

If you’ve been following along, you may have heard and seen that our farm share started. I’m still in disbelief that we were able to get a share that is this awesome so late in the season! And now I’m remembering what it’s like to have (the wonderful) pressure of a fridge full of veggies pushing me to get creative with dinner.

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In this first box we received your typical fall fare: a few bunches of kale and chard, potatoes, squash, etc. What I didn’t expect were the couple of cucumbers and the big beautiful bunch of dill blossoms. I thought cucumber season had passed, and I’ve never received the dill blossoms, so this was a new and unexpected surprise. I have to admit that I have a tendency to buy cucumbers and forget about them, but I didn’t want to let that happen this time. So I turned to one of my favorite easy ways to use up those cukes in a jiffy: overnight pickles! We don’t buy pickles often (and when we do they tend to sit in the fridge for months), but these are different. They are so fresh and delicious,  barely lasting a week in our house.

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This recipe comes from my mom, but I adjusted it to make use of what I had on hand: eliminating the green pepper and adding the dill blossoms and a bit of fresh dill. Do you hear that? The blossoms were totally a bonus, this recipe is just as delicious without the fresh herb, but as you’ll see, they sure add a touch of something beautiful to the jar.

Ingredients

  • 3 average-sized cucumbers (here I used 2 large)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice
  • 1 sliced lemon
  • optional – dill blossoms

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How-to

  • Slice the cucumbers, green pepper, and onion, and mix them in a bowl with the salt and celery seed. Let this mixture stand for one hour.
  • Mix together the sugar and lemon juice and add it to the cucumber mixture. Add the sliced lemon and stir.
  • Cover the container and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. I like to go in there and give it a stir once in a while, or if using a jar I just give it a gentle shake, slowly turning it upside down. The juices may not cover your mixture right away, but they will as the 24 hours progresses.

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The blossoms are a really flavorful part of the dill plant. I added a few to a warm veggie mixture as it cooked, and they imparted a fantastic but not overpowering dill flavor. I found that they did a same thing here ~ creating a batch of pickles that had a sweet dill flavor. I added blossoms that weren’t fully open to my jar before filling it with the cucumber mixture (I’m not sure if there’s any difference in the flavor imparted by open versus closed blossoms?).

While the pickles taste delicious, I think I get just as much fun out of opening my fridge and seeing this beautiful jar sitting on the shelf (for the whole 2-3 days that it’s there!).

Ack, ok, maybe it’s even more fun seeing little A gobble them up and then sign for more with celery seeds sticking to his face!

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