Every spring, I come up against the same problem in my garden - what in the world am I going to do with all the extra cucumbers? Most of the year, I don't have any cucumbers in the garden, of course. Then, WHAM - I've got about 20 of them all in one week, and who could eat that many at a time, even if they loved them?? Well, this year, I started a new experimental process. I decided to learn how to make good pickles!
I have always loved pickles, and in particular, I love the pickles that are made by a women I've known most of my life, Evelyn Oglesby. She's one of those rare breed of women who are "cooks by the grace of God." You know...those people who make food taste like it must have tasted in the Garden of Eden, before the fall impacted the way crops grow on earth. I have been trying to get her recipe for years, but thus far, with no success. So, I decided to try on my own...
I started by picking some good cukes:
Then I cleaned some of my canning jars:
I cut up some onions and cucumbers...
and I loaded them into the jars...
Then I picked some fresh dill off the dill plant on the deck.
I tossed in the fresh dill and the spices, and then I sealed them up. I didn't have all of the necessary spices, so I just had to make do with what I did have. The jars on the left are sweet (bread and butter) pickles, and the ones on the left are dill.
I let them marinate for 6 weeks, and then yesterday, I cracked them open for a taste. I learned several things:
1) I do NOT like sweet pickles. Yuck.
2) I shouldn't try to make recipes when I don't have all the ingredients.
3) No matter what I do, my pickles will never taste like Evelyn Oglesby's until I get her recipe. (And even then, mine probably won't be as good.)
4) I should have let them marinate longer.
Next year, I'm going to try again, and this time, I'm getting the recipe from the pickle master.