Mistake #1--I planted my cucumber seeds the weekend after Mother's Day. Most of my seeds rotted in the ground due to two weeks of cold, overcast weather. No sun.
Exactly three seeds made it, with only two plants producing now. Like a proud parent I was out in my garden nearly every day noting my plants progress. Below is a sprout. I was thrilled!
My first cucumber (it's early stage pictured below) made me nearly dance for joy.
When it came to looking for cucumber recipes, I needed something that didn't require the canning process. I've never done that before and wanted to wait until a friend could coach me through it. I found a recipe for dill pickles that were the refrigerator style and needed no canning.
So, yesterday I harvested five cucumbers and followed the first part of the instructions. "Wash the cucumbers then place in a container, cover with ice cold tap water and several ice cubes. Cover the container and place inside the refrigerator overnight. The next day do not take the cucumbers out until you are ready to use them." I discovered that by doing this, it kept my cukes firm.
"Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Set aside." I have never bought my own actual garlic, peeled it, or sliced it. Thaaaaat's right. I have always depended on those small refrigerated jars of pre-minced garlic. So this would expand the newness of my endeavors!
After making sure my jars were clean and dry, I followed the next set of instructions. "Bring the vinegar, water and sea salt to a boil. Then add the slices of garlic and mustard seed and continue boiling for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside."
"Drain the cukes then slice off both top and bottom." I kept my cukes whole instead of slicing down into spears. The dill, by the way, is fresh from my friend's garden. What an amazing smell comes from this stuff! Do they make dill air fresheners?
Place some fresh dill inside the bottom of the jar then begin arranging the cukes inside the jar. Add layers of cukes and dill, then pour in some of the vinegar mix as you go until you have used up all ingredients." I recycled a jar from my past since that's what I had on hand.
"Cover and allow to cool down to room temperature. Then you can place in fridge." Don't these look cool?! Perhaps those who have done this forever aren't that thrilled.....but I'm a newbie! I feel so domestic!
"Allow the cucumber/pickles to sit in the fridge for 1 week before eating." WHAT!! How am I supposed to exercise a week's worth of discipline?? My husband doesn't think I'll make it a week. We shall see.
"These dill pickles will keep for 1 month inside the fridge." They make keep that long...but they won't last that long....
My daughter decided to take a rest on the floor while I worked on this recipe. Will I share with my children? Let me think. No.