Pickle Day

This year’s garden is mostly being worked by Jonny and the boys, while I am acting as a sort of overseer.  But yesterday we woke to a really beautiful day, and I realized that I really wanted to work in our garden too, to try to do just a little myself.  Our heat wave has finally past, and it wasn’t quite seventy degrees out when I called the kids and asked them to come help me.  We did some clearing of beds, planted some buckwheat for the bees, and picked cucumbers.  I don’t typically have much success growing pickling cucumbers for some reason, but this year the little pickle bed is doing okay.  We picked all that were ready, and quite a few that were past ready, and I declared that it was also going to be a pickle making day.  I don’t know much about making pickles.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try starting a batch of lacto-fermented pickles, regular old dill pickles, or maybe some refrigerator pickles.  I spent a good hour studying my canning books:  Putting Food By and my newer favorite, Canning for a New Generation.  I Googled for recipes online as well.  It got a little overwhelming.  I realized that things were starting to get silly and I best just make some pickles.  I ended up combining this recipe I found online, with one from Canning for a New Generation.  I didn’t process them, just put them in the fridge, because I didn’t have that many.  I think they are going to be really good.  I do think I want to try brining in a big crock or jar next.  That way I could just add the cucumbers as they are ready, since it is hard to have enough evenly sized cucumbers to make a big batch of pickles on one day.  Have any of you had success doing that?  Ooh, here’s a good NPR story and article I just came across.  Maybe I’ll try Grandma Minnie’s recipe next.

p.s.  Look at the “pool” my kids made.  All you need is an old pick up truck, a couple of tarps, and some duck tape.  You know you want one of these in your front yard….




  1. The best that summer has to offer! The joy on your children’s faces says it all! 🙂

  2. Ginny, I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and I always love it. This picture of your kids in the pick up brought back some great memories for me. My dad did this when we were kids. Not only were we the biggest family in the cul-de-sac but the only ones with a ’57 Chevy “pool” one summer. My dad even got in with us once! I wish I had some pictures. Tell your kids to have lots of fun, they’ll love talking about this one day.

  3. Ginny,
    We love pickles. Our favorite recipe is to put them in a crock with water (they need to be submerged under liquid all the time this way) and Caldwell’s Starter Culture (from Cultures for Health) and let them ferment on the counter. We skim off the stuff from the top regularly. When they are to our liking, we put them in the fridge and eat them up so fast. They’re raw and full of probiotics and the flavor is amazing. Plus easy to make and store.


    P.S. That is one awesome pool! Your kids are so clever. It looks like so much fun.

  4. What a fun pool!

  5. the pool is awesome!!!!
    we’ve been eating fridge pickles here…. good stuff!

  6. Those pickles look delicious and your pool is awesome – kids and water, those two just belong during summer! Happy weekend xxx

  7. I hope to have a proper garden like that. Maybe I will get closer next year. Your veggies are so much farther along than mine in my canister garden. The kids look like they had an absolute ball!

  8. I LOVE the photos of your kids in the “truck pool!” Very fun.
    My grandma has always made pickles by stuffing her jars with the cucumbers, dill and a couple garlic cloves. Then she pours boiling vinegar water over the top, adds some salt and seals them. No processing or anything the hot water causes them to seal and they are ready in 4 weeks, but they last through the winter (or longer.) Always delicious and of course easy to do small batches. That’s the best part!
    I hope your pickles turn our wonderful!!!

  9. It’s one of the greatest joys in parenting to see them creating and playing so well together. Love it!

  10. There is a great book called The Amish Canning Cookbook by Georgia Varozza on Amazon and it is even a kindle version, I believe. They have some great recipes in there.

  11. 1. I made some great pickles! Here’s the link if you want it: http://www.alwaysoverthinkingit.com/2013/01/homemade-pickles.html

    2. I have ALWAYS wanted a pool like that in my yard. And I am totally serious.

  12. Your first photo of the yellow cucumber reminded me of a pickle recipe that I used to make every year called Golden Glows. They are a sweet pickle and the only pickle that I actually like. They were so good. I haven’t made pickles in many years, yours sure look good!

  13. Your pickles look wonderful.
    I usually make my husband’s grandmothers recipe for mustard pickles each summer. She keeps a crock of them on the counter at her house… Always has.
    And that is a very innovative pool they have there! So fun!

  14. Your pickles look grand.
    Your children look like they are in Heaven
    Put a smile on my face.

  15. I have pickles to do tomorrow–trying my hand at lacto-fermented ones. Made a batch of lacto-fermented salsa today.

    Oh, my–we need a hillbilly pool like yours! Except out here, no one would even blink an eye at it unless they weren’t from around here!

  16. I have canned many, many jars of pickles and always use a crock for brining. I usually make 14 day pickles or Lime pickles. Either recipe can be altered for the amount of cucumbers you have. You can refrigerate cucumbers for a couple of days while amassing enough for a bigger batch of pickles too.

    Love the expression Silas is wearing. He radiates happiness.

  17. We make pickles about once or twice a year. It depends on how quickly we go through them. We do basic dill pickles but our brine is rather salty (it’s not for the faint of heart)….it’s my mother-in-law’s recipe. She made out like it was this HUGE deal to make pickles but it’s not that difficult. She told us to sterilize the jars but, from a scientific standpoint, that makes no sense because you’re putting cucumbers (that can’t be sterilized) into the jar…and the boiling of the jars kills everything anyway. Once we cut that step out, it goes a lot faster 🙂

  18. LOVE the pool picture.
    Isn’t it amazing how much fun kids can have with a little water! :o)
    I have so many amazing memories of my kids that look just like that picture!

    As for July 26th question…WHEN will I ever have time????
    I will tell you…when the kids are grown but the grandkids haven’t started coming yet!
    That’s where I am….10 years ago my life was yours exactly…except with 5 kids. :o)
    Now, the quiet in my house is deafening!
    But, you get busy with other things and the books still go unread! :o)

  19. Your kids are going too have the BEST childhood memories. Awesome pool idea!

  20. I am so glad you were able to have some garden time. Your weather here is just fantastic and I am enjoying it.
    I really am not looking forward to the heat and humidity I have at home and wish I could stay for a while longer.

    PS-Did you receive my reply to your email?

  21. Wow–that’s a great idea. My kid would love it!

  22. Oh I do love pickles. Our greenhouse is seeing a good crop of English cukes this year, but I still haven’t perfected planting enough pickling cukes so we actually have enough ripe at once to pickle (they seem to straggle on so here in the Pacific Northwest–I need a bigger crop). Adding one grape leaf to each jar makes pickles crispier (so said a Grandmother to me once, and I have abided by this advice ever since.) Apparently they contain alum.

    • Kate Talley says:

      I do the grape leaf in the jar thing too! My grandma’s recipe. My brood eats pickles like crazy, and the cost of good, healthy pickles is rising. The regular off the shelf pickles often have food dye! Yuck! So I am making lots of pickles this summer too.

    • I did add grape leaves!!

  23. Oh, I do love the picture of the children swimming ! They look so happy , seeing that is the Best !
    The pickles are fantastic looking , I would have trouble waiting to eat one . My Grandmother used to “put up” some really delicious half sours , and I don’t mind saying they tasted just like the Carnegie Deli’s . A real snap .
    How great will it be to see these displayed nicely on your shelf in the Fall ? Looks good, Taste’s even better.
    Thanks for sharing,

  24. My dad made a pool for me one year while living in the city with BLACK tarp., let me tell you-it was too hot to swim in after a few hours. This break in the weather has renewed my love of being outside and taking in the fresh air while I can.

    I love pickles anyway I can get them-straight from the jar!!

  25. Oh those beautiful pickles remind me so much of my grandmother. She used to make the best bread and butter pickles. I would love to try it.

    Your kids have the best life ever! Love the pool.

  26. love the pool! awesome!

  27. love the new pool!
    we have made fridge pickles in the past, love them. 🙂

  28. I spend an obscene amount of money buying pickles weekly from our local farmers market. My husband and son are obsessed with our local pickle guys pickles. I really want to try making my own, but I think I am no competition to his pickles (which are filled with wonderful probiotics anyway).

    Love the pool and I love that Silas is in his birthday suit 🙂

  29. Those pickles look so yummy! Love the fancy crinkle cut ones. I need to get a fancy cutter like that.

  30. Anne Marie says:

    LOVE the pool! I thought we were living with our stock tank in the back yard — yes, we live in town, so can’t really do it in the front yard! We might have to try this in the side yarn with my hubby’s beater of a truck that he uses to haul wood. We’d probably make the newspaper with that photo on a hot day in our small town!

  31. That pool looks like fun! And I never process pickles before they are gone too quickly!

  32. It looks like the kids are having a lot of fun! Hope your pickles are yummy. I’ve never canned anything but always wanted to.

  33. yay for making and canning! My it looks like that pickup truck pool is a hit! Have a wonderful weekend! It’s so wonderful that the weather has cooled!

  34. Mmmm…I still haven’t made pickles yet, although I plan to just do refrigerator pickles, too, no serious canning for me, yet. I don’t have enough of them, either. I ♥ seeing your fresh dill. Ours has flowered, pretty yellow dainty flowers. And AWESOME homemade pickup pool!!!


  1. […] chunks of time since….April. Wow. So I want to do things! I want to knit! I want to cook! I want to make pickles!  I want to devour my stack of books! How much of that will actually happen? […]

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