I am making pickles again this summer. And these pickles are some of the best ones that I have ever made. They are inspired the spicy pickle chips which my 97-year-old mother-in-law keeps in her home refrigerator. She purchases large jars of spicy pickles at Costco Wholesale and then portions some of them into small plastic containers. She can reach in to her refrigerator from time to time and eat just a pickle. I reached in and ate an entire handful of the pickles. These pickles are addictive. And they are hot! Wow! Since the label of commercial pickles doesn’t specify the exact spice content, I decided go on an adventure and concoct my own spicy pickle recipe. Luckily, I aced my pickles on the first try. although I did make several additional batches just to make sure that I wrote down the ingredients and instructions properly.Continue reading
Aunt Gaye has done it again. She provided me with another great recipe idea. This one is for yellow squash pickles. I was tempted to say, “yuck.” But Aunt Gaye’s recipes somehow always work out even when it doesn’t seem plausible. And, as luck would have it, our local produce market was selling four yellow squash for one dollar. I couldn’t pass up the bargain and came home with a large bag full of squash. Then I spent several hours making Aunt Gaye’s yellow squash pickle recipe. And they turned out great!
I had a bumper crop of blueberries on my two bushes this year in my yard. I watched all spring as the blueberries grew. However, after sharing with the birds and going out of town at the height of the season, there was only about a quart of blueberries left for picking. What could I make with the small batch of blueberries? I’ve never made blueberry jam; but it seemed like a way to savor the wonderful flavor of the blueberries all year. Here I go. Continue reading
I decided to make a batch of pickled jalapeno peppers with my remaining garden produce. I have just enough of the peppers for three small jars. And surprise. It is really quite easy to make your own pickled peppers. These brined peppers turned out to be crunchy and full of hot flavor — much better than store bought ones, in my opinion. Although they can be kept in the refrigerator for several months, I doubt if they will last that long.
I love fresh, ripe peaches in the summertime. They make a juicy and aromatic snack and are one of my favorite summer fruits. My cousin, Barbara, from the coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina, shared one of her favorite recipes and another interesting way to serve peaches. “Maryland Peach Chutney” is a spicy compote of fresh peaches, raisins and apples. I made a small batch and served it with baked chicken and rice. Continue reading
Here’s another homemade gift idea for the holidays–Meyer Lemon Marmalade. It’s a little different twist on traditional jelly or jam. The Meyer Lemon tree in my backyard that I planted 2 years ago was prolific. I was so excited with the 100 or so lemons that it produced and decided that this would be a good time to try making marmalade. It turned out very well–sweet yet tart with a fruity flavor.
Plums are an economical, plentiful and healthy fruit in the late summer. But what do you cook with them? I become intrigued with a cookbook which dedicated an entire chapter to plum recipes–providing lots of ideas. My kind of cookbook. Here is “Malinda’s Plum and Apple Chutney”. The recipe includes plums, apples, onions and Indian spices. Wow, it was delicious.
Let’s make Banana Pepper Jelly! Home canning pepper jelly is a new adventure for me — but I’m willing to give it a try. My Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) basket was full of large banana peppers. These peppers are mild, with a distinctive flavor. I don’t often use banana peppers in cooking and hate to throw them away. So making jelly seemed like a good solution. The jelly turned out so well that I made a batch of Hot Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, too.
I love pickled okra; this year I decided to make pickled okra with the pods growing in my garden. Most recipes for pickled okra make a large batch; I’ve experimented with scaling back the ingredients to accommodate what I can pick from my garden every morning. Continue reading
My mother’s homemade bread and butter pickles are the best I’ve tasted. They are a sweet pickle with Indian-type spices. Every summer when I was growing cup, canning pickles and other garden produce was a major summer activity. I have plenty of garden cucumbers and decided to tackle this DIY project myself.