Tag Archives: pickles

Newlyweds and Dill Pickles

20090917_dill_424The Lower Mainland called in the big guns today – Sunshine.

After yesterday’s winter-like-but-not-yet-winter-rain-here-to-remind-you-what’s-coming rain, it was sensational to soak up the sun today.

I had wonderful session with my RMT at Complement in the West Van Rec centre. I’ve been seeing her for a couple of years now, and today was one of those magic sessions where I left feeling like a different person. Nice.

My newly-married-sister-in-law and her new husband are returning from leg 2 of their honeymoon in Quebec City, so thoughts of heading out on the boat to chase the sunshine for a couple of hours, had to be put on hold. They’re here overnight then head back to Portland Oregon, having now spent more of their married time in Canada than in their home country, the grand old USA. Ha!

With a small early afternoon window, I decided to do up some dill pickles. I’ve got a seemingly endless supply of fresh organic cucumbers in my garden. I love an old fashioned garlic dill pickle, and found what looks like a promising recipe/post called Dillicious! Homemade Dill Pickle Recipe the Mennonite Way.

The thing is, I’m trying this recipe with a bunch of lemon cucumbers, and a couple of Suyo Long variety – not exactly dill material, but what the heck.

I love the smell in the house – that’s awesome combination of vinegar and pickling spices that reminds me of when I was a kid, watching my aunt Simone in the kitchen. I spent most of my summers hanging out at her house with my cousins. She somehow always managed to do wonders in the kitchen while holding a cigarette in one hand and a Black Label beer in the other.

There always seemed to be an endless supply of chips and pop, which we’d get after helping her in the garden. We’d pull fresh corn and peas for dinner, then shell what seemed like bushels of peas (for freezing) while sitting in the living room watching daytime TV. I can’t eat fresh peas from the garden without being reminded of The Price is Right, The Dating Game and the Newlywed Game.

Hmm. That gives me an idea. Maybe tonight over dinner with my sister-in-law, I’ll have to give them a Newlywed Game quiz.

I know, when we open up one of these pretty little jars of dills later this winter, that the memory of my aunt Simone will be right there as well.

Canning Is Sexy


I gotta say.

Taking fresh organic vegetables out of the garden in the morning, and by early afternoon seeing them transformed into beautiful jars of food we can eat months from now, is, well…


And knowing that they’ll taste ten times better than anything I’m going to find in the supermarket, is well…



All that’s involved is:

  • a little simple chemistry with water, vinegar, sugar & salt.
  • some spices and seeds (like mustard) for taste.

Way back, when I first tried making pickles and other canned goodies, I used to phone my grandma or my mom for advice.

Today, I just have to lean over the counter to the keyboard and Bing!, within seconds I’ve got dozens of detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to make the very best [name your preserve] EVER!

It’s like having an entire old folks home full of grandmas at your disposal – even better since almost all come with reviews by people who’ve tried them.


The other thing is, this canning stuff doesn’t have to take over your life. You can easily put up just a few jars without turning your life (and your kitchen) into a cannery. Crank up the tunes, turn the burner up high, and go for it.

Today, for instance, I did 4 jars pickled beets, and 1 of picked jalapeno peppers.

Now that’s sexy.

Ok, maybe my excitement has a tiny bit to do with the fact that I’m still recovering from septicemia.

But still. I haven’t been this excited since EB showed me her…

Well, never mind.


(cross posted to VanGoGreen)