Monday, August 11, 2014

Refrigerator Pickles - Spicy Dill Spears

After an especially bountiful cucumber harvest, I set out to find a dill variety refrigerator pickle.  I had tried my hand at canning dills, but they always turned out too soft for our liking.  Furthermore, we are not a "sweet pickle" family so the standard refrigerator pickle with vinegar and sugar was not for us.
Refrigerator Pickles in re-used jars
This is the final recipe I use, adapted from one I found online* (see bottom).  My family likes things a little on the spicy side, so these were perfect.  Now a requested item.  

2 cups water
1 3/4 c. white vinegar
1 1/2 c fresh dill "fronds" (leaves)
scant 1/4 c white sugar (or less)
8 cloves garlic, halved
1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 Tbsp. pickling spice
1 1/2 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (plus)
fresh dill flowers (to place 1-2 in each jar)
1/2 tsp alum (for crunchiness)

(12) long pickling cucumbers cut in spears
Either use canning jars, or I reuse jars from dressing, salsa, other pickles, etc.  

Note: I just use the cucumbers that I have and make more brine if I need to.  I also like "dilly beans" so if I have some, I make a jar or two with string beans.

1.  In a large pot: combine ingredients for the brine, heat just to dissolve the sugar & salt.
2.  Cut cucumbers into spears.  Remove ends from beans - leave them whole.
3.  Place "dill flower" into bottom of each jar along with 1-2 pieces of garlic.
4.  Pack the spears into the jars fairly tightly.
5.  Ladle brine to cover pickles, include spices.  
6.  Divide dill evenly through all jars topping and stuffing it throughout.  
7.  (To taste) Add another "sprinkle" of red pepper flakes to top of jar.
8.  Seal with lids.  Refrigerate for 10 days before eating for best flavor.  Use within 1 month.
I also invert/shake the jars several times within the 10 days to ensure even distribution of flavors.

*Adapted from "Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles" at

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wanna #chat?

Wanting to connect with some like-minded individuals on Twitter, I have found there are several chat forums throughout the week.  After missing several, I decided to make a listing of some of them. These are all garden related, and I am well aware that it is not a complete listing.  It may be added to in the future.

All times listed are Eastern Time:

Monday   2pm   #plantchat
               9pm   #gardenchat
Tuesday  2pm   #treechat
               9pm   #pollin8rchat
Weds.     2pm   #landscapechat
               9pm   #seedchat
               9pm   #rosechat 
Thurs.     2pm   #herbchat
Fri.          2pm   #groundchat

Hope this helps you make some connections!  
Chat with you soon.