I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who reached out via comments and messages in response to my Friday Introduction on Instagram. I don’t know why I just now did one, but it was such a surprise to have all of those wonderfully sweet comments and private messages from people. You restore my faith in the world, and it goes to show that social media can be an extremely positive experience. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your prayer intentions and kind words.
We had an appointment last Tuesday for baby boy’s heart. We are thrilled to report that no major defects were found, and he has been cleared as healthy! We know that ultrasounds only see so much, so we are aware that there could still be some small abnormalities. The cardiologist informed us that if there was something small, it would be pretty easy to correct. So, please keep us in your prayers for continued good health for our son. We can’t wait to meet him in August!
This week I am doing something easy and fun: pickles! love a cold and crunchy pickle alongside my sandwiches in the summer time. I enjoy them right out of the jar, too, with some crackers and cheese as a snack. There is something great about making your own pickles and enjoying the freshness of them. Although I do enjoy regular store-bought ones, I have come to prefer this method any day of the week! I hope you love it.
You will need:
- 5-7 Kirby cucumbers (cocktail), or English cucumbers (long and wrapped in plastic) *see first paragraph about how to cut them depending on how fast you want a pickle.
- 2 cups of hot water
- 1 1/2 cups of distilled white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 cup of fresh dill, chopped or torn
- 2 standard mason jars (1 pt each)
Now, the idea behind refrigerator pickles is to skip the entire canning process. The only downside to this recipe is that you will need to eat them within 2 weeks of opening. This makes enough to fill two mason jars, so if you don’t think you can finish this amount in two weeks, cut this recipe in half. *Important note: if you want overnight pickles, slice the cucumbers into spears or slices. If the flesh of the cucumber is exposed, it will pickle faster. If you want pickles within 5-7 days, keep them whole and let them hang out in the fridge. It will take a few days to permeate the skin of the cucumber.
If you don’t know what a Kirby cucumber is- see picture below. They are usually about 6 inches long and have little bumps on their skin. If you shop at Costco- they are in the refrigerated produce section in a bag labeled “cocktail cucumbers.” As far as any other grocery store, they should be by the regular cucumbers. If not, just ask a produce manager. English cucumbers are the longer ones wrapped in plastic. Their skin is not waxed. This makes them much easier to pickle. No need to peel the Kirby or English versions. Don’t be like me and buy the slicing cucumbers (the regular dark green ones with the waxy skin and seeds). You won’t have a very tasty pickle. Oh well, you live you learn, right? I ate them anyway.
For the pickling liquid: Into a bowl, add in 2 cups of hot water, 3 tsp kosher salt, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Give it a stir and set to the side. Next step: Go ahead and pack your jars. To the bottom of each jar: Add in 1tsp peppercorns, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, and 1/3 cup of fresh dill. Pack in the cucumbers. You want to make sure the jar is full, but not packed so tight that the pickling liquid cannot reach every piece of cucumber. Top the cucumbers with the remaining dill. Pour in the pickling liquid until it is full (it will still be warm- totally okay) and close the lid tight. Turn the jar upside down a couple times to get everything mixed together. Place into the fridge for picking magic!
If you sliced your cucumbers- your pickles will be ready in 24 hours. If you did not slice your cucumbers, they will be ready in 5-7 days. You will notice that I used a regular cucumber for my sliced version…ignore that and do not repeat my error. I wanted to see if it would work, and although it did give a mild pickle flavor, it did not turn out as good as I wanted. Regular cucumbers have a thick waxy skin, lots of seeds, and a strong flavor. This is not an ideal combination for a pickle! However, I did not want to waste them, so I am eating them anyway. As far as how I sliced them- go for it. That slice would be absolutely perfect on an English cucumber. Recipe testing is a learning process, and I do not always get everything right (my husband has endured some wonky recipes).
I hope you love this recipe. Pickles are a fantastic addition to a quick lunch or snack. I really enjoy making them, and I think the jars look so pretty with all of the green (my favorite color). I have a sweet pickle recipe my grandmother used to make for us, and once I test it, I will definitely post it. I love all types of pickles, so I am going to be doing more of them. If you want to dress these up a bit more or make them spicy, feel free to add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp red pepper flakes to each jar. This addition will give them a nice zing!
As always, thank you for your support. I love making recipes to share, and I hope they are fun for you to make and eat. If you try any of these and want to give me some feedback- I am always welcome to comments! If you’re not already doing so, give me a follow over on Instagram at @thecatholickitchen.
Lots of love and many blessings,
The crowd said to Jesus:
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
So they said to Jesus,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
John 6: 30-35