Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Refrigerator PIckles - A Family Tradition.

I have a sunburn, so it is now summer and that means it's time to start my never ending pickle pot!

I've had one of these babies going in my fridge every summer since my grandmother started this tradition, and I even have some of her old jars that I use in her honor.  These are THE best pickles and this is THE best recipe, but that's just my opinion!  

You can keep rotating this brine indefinitely, just add a few more (or less ) seasonings, some vinegar and water, and it will last about a month.  Adjust to your family's liking. Our family likes lots of garlic and lots of vinegar and tons of fresh dill.  :)

Let's get started.  First you will need to gather up all of your ingredients...Cukes ( I use the regular old cukes from the grocery store.  Use what YOU like!  One large red onion, one orange pepper, Heinz white vinegar, kosher salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, dill SEEDS, (now weed), fresh dill (VERY important!) and fresh garlic.  YUM.

OH this smells so good...  Now, prepare your veggies, I like to cut my cukes rather thick, and I only remove about half of the skin.  This keeps them nice and crunchy.

Cut your orange pepper and your red onion into rings (these really have very little impact on the flavor of your pickles.  They pickle up just like your cukes, but MAN these are YUMMY on a brat or a burger fresh from the grill. peel your garlic.

SO pretty and SO fragrant.

Now, let's layer these up.

I've used a glass jar with a lid that I found in the kitchenware department at Target.  They have 3 sizes.  This is the medium sized one, and I always have to put some pickles into my big blue Mason jar in honor of my grandmother who taught me this recipe.

Drop in your garlic.  I use 3 peeled pieces per jar.  If you like more, use more.  Then, add your cukes, onions, peppers, and fresh dill.  Layer them so they look pretty. 


Now mix your spices.  

I have used two containers, so I'll use about 1/4 for my Ball Jar and the rest in my glass jar.  

Pour on top of your layered veggies.  Should look like this:

Next, we need to mix our brine.  Or, our vinegar and water.  This is where tastes will vary greatly.  We like ours quite vinegar-y.  If you don't want a strong bite, mix your vinegar and water half and half, if you like it vinegary as we do, go one part water / two parts vinegar.  You can always adjust this later as you begin to eat your pickles!

Pour your vinegar and water mixture over the spices and veggies until it reaches the top of your container.  

Pop your lid on, give it a few little shakes, and watch the spices and seeds float around a bit.  And guess what?  You just made pickles, darling.  Pop in your fridge, and  you will have crunchy, delicious, fresh chemical-free pickles all summer long.

As your brine and your pickles begin to disappear, add more!  Chop up a cuke.  If you have leftover salad ingredients such as asparagus, raw green beans, cauliflower, etc, toss them in your pickle pot.  Experiment and make this your own and ENJOY!  You will notice that your brine will become cloudy after a while, at that time, start over with a fresh batch.  

With love, 



 Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles

2 quarts Heinz White Pickling Vinegar
1 quart water 
Fresh dill
6 cloves of garlic, peeled 
10 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp mustard seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds (not ground, be sure you're using seeds)
2 tsp black peppercorns
4 tsp dill seeds (not weed)
10 medium sizes cucumbers
1 large red onion
1 large orange pepper

Prepare your veggies:  peel and chop cukes into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Peel garlic, cut pepper and onion into rings. 

Pack into container(s) .... Use glass only.  The vinegar will break down a plastic container and you will end up with a big batch of yuck.  Layer garlic, cukes, onion, peppers, and fresh dill.  

Mix your spices.  Divide evenly amongst containers and place right on top of your layered veggies.

Mix your brine.  Mix to your liking.  You can easily adjust this later.  Remember, this is YOUR recipe!

Pour over veggies, pop a lid on, and place in your fridge overnight.  


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Please indulge me....

This is a pet post.  I know that there are way more than enough pet photos on the internet, but when I saw this picture of our Border Collie, Chaser....I nearly cried from the cuteness.   He's just all: "MOM PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF DOG!  GIVE ME A MORSEL!"  The pathetic little guy did, in fact, get a bite of my Mother's Day egg casserole.  :)  Bless his little pointed head, I love this dog.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ugly Brass Chandelier to Pretty Brass Chandelier!

OK I'll admit it.  I'm that mom who will slam on the brakes when I see a "good" pile of junk aside the road.  Much to my children's dismay.  When I saw this poor thing sitting beside a dumpster FOUR YEARS AGO....I couldn't resist.  OK, I could, kind of.  Because I took it home and it sat in my basement storage room for the next four years.

Pretty bad, huh?  It was actually put together, this is what it looked like after I dissected it and wiped it with my (thank you lord for these), Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

I then gave this old girl a squirt of my trusted spray primer and some spray paint, put her back together, added some swagggggg......and she now hangs in our beach house.  I love her. 

This was a quick and simple project!  Really, my kids could do this!  And these poor old, sad fixtures are alll over the place.  While I got this one for free, you can find them in the thrift stores and on Craigslist every day!  Enjoy!