"To the world you may be one person...but to one person you may be the world..."

About Me

I grew up in a village of 500 people and now live in a beach town of 10 000. Wife to Jeff, Mama to Makenna and Jack. This is my place to share what's up with us, and the place where I sometimes need to pour my heart out about the not so sunshiney moments. This is my happy place. Thanks for stopping by :) Copyright 2012 by Melissa Wormington, that no part of this blog may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, without permission from the publisher.
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The Wormingtons

The Wormingtons
Jeff, Makenna, Jack and Melissa. Spring 2012. Photo credit: Tricia Denomme/Hope Photography

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Kids in my Kitchen...Homemade Dill Pickles!

"The Kids in my Kitchen" is part of an ongoing series where I blog a recipe the kids and I made together. Why do I think it's important for my kids to be in my kitchen with me? Read this.

Makenna loves pickles.
Looooooooves them.

So last fall when we grew cucumbers in our garden, I realized we should show her how to make pickles out of them.
Since she doesn't like cucumbers anyway.

But I had grown English Cucumbers, (the really long ones) which aren't the right kind for making pickles. You need"pickling cucumbers", my mother in law told me. So this spring I picked up a packet of "pickling cucumber" seeds (From Bargain Shop, no less) and we planted them in little pots.

April 2011

Once they sprouted to about an inch long, we transferred the pots to our garden.

At first, we weren't sure they were going to grow, but they eventually did take off.

When I checked in on them on August 1, I noticed a few of them were ready and we decided to give this whole "pickle making thing" a whirl.

We recruited Makenna and had her scrub the freshly picked cucumbers

We assembled the rest of our ingredients: vinegar, pickling salt, alum, and dill.

We followed Jeff's mom's recipe: Add 6 cups of water to a large pot. The measuring cup Makenna used held 2 cups, so she had to figure out how many times she needed to fill it.

Then 2 cups of vinegar.

She didn't so much like the smell of vinegar.

Add 6 tbsps of Pickling Salt (which is different than Pickling Spice).

And 1 tsp of Alum.

Bring all of this to a boil.

Meanwhile, get your cucumbers ready. You can leave them whole, slice them into halves or quarters...whatever you like, really. We decided to slice ours into quarters.

Hand over hand, Daddy taught her how to slice them.

And then under Daddy's watchful eye and while I bit my lip (hard) she did it herself.

5 cucumbers, quartered.

Place a sprig of dill in the bottom of a mason jar.

And then pack the jar with the cucumbers - as many as will fit.

Add another sprig of dill to the top of the jar...

And then pour in the boiling vinegar water, to cover the cucumbers and dill.

(A grown up's job)

Add the seals and lids to the jars and voila!

Let them sit for 2 or 3 weeks in a cool dark place (they don't need to be refridgerated) and they should be good to go!

We had lots of the vinegar water left, so we just put it in a container in the fridge and as more cucumbers come ready in the garden, we will repeat the process, re-boiling the water each time.

We also cut all the sprigs of dill off of the stalks and froze them in a tupperware container so the next time we will have that ready to go as well.

5 cucumbers made 2 jars of pickles - pretty good I think! Makenna really enjoyed this process and when we were remembering the day she planted the seeds in the pot she said "It's like we've completed the life cycle!"

Even Jeff enjoyed this, promising Makenna we would do it all again next year, and grow our own dill too. Then he went online searching for recipes on how to make your own pickled eggs, keen to make those too.

Just because you haven't grown your own pickling cucumbers doesn't mean you can't do this. You can buy these cucumbers from local farmers markets, produce stands, Mennonites and grocery stores. For those local to where I am, Te em Farms announced on their website recently that their pickling cucumbers were ready.

I really believe Makenna learned something today that is going to stick with her and I love that she was a part of the whole process, from taking the seeds out of the packet to twisting the lids onto the jars. Thanks Grandma Wormington, for guiding us through it and helping to teach her a life lesson. Judging by all the cucumbers that are growing in the garden, we could end up with a lot of pickles.

Have I mentioned how much I hate pickles?

I really do.

Especially in Bloody Ceasars. So disgusting.

But seeing the satisfaction on Makenna's face when she bites into that first homemade pickle, that she made...that's what it's all about.

You can also find this blog post at Delightful Order's Thursday Link Party.


Anonymous said...

I came across your story through Simply Frugal on facebook. I agree that kids should be in the kitchen, my boys love helping my father-in-law in the kitchen when ever they can. They've helped can several different kinds of fruit, learning all the old family recipes and great bonding time!

PS: a secret we learned a couple years ago about making pickles, add 1 grape leaf to the jar and the pickles will remain crisp!