Food Flirt

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Summer Delights

It's only a mile from my home to being out in the country.  Rolling hills dotted with vineyards and small farms complete with cows, sheep, horses and a fantastic organic farm called Green String (  I love poking around their produce store buying the freshest produce and eggs.  One day I couldn't resist buying some of the most interesting  looking little cucumbers that just were begging me to pickle them.  I hadn't made pickles before but decided now was the time to learn how.

After some research I found a recipe that looked easy enough for me to try and so I canned a couple of jars.

It was hard to wait two weeks until the pickles were ready to eat.

They came out absolutely crunchy and delicious! 


8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3 pounds)
 2 cups white vinegar
 2 cups water
 2 tablespoons pickling salt
 4 heads fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds
 4 large cloves garlic

1. Cut a thin slice from the ends of each cucumber

2.  Sterilize 2,  four cup canning jars and lids in dishwasher on hot.

3. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, water, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

4. Remove hot jars from dishwasher. Place 1 head fresh dill or 1 tsp dill seeds and 2 cloves of garlic into each jar; pack in cucumbers. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over cucumbers to within 1/2 inch of rim (head space), seal and turn the jars (lid down) in boiling water for about 4 minutes.  Let cool completely on counter top then refrigerate for 2 weeks. 


A couple of years ago I was in Nashville, Tennessee, and discovered fried dill pickles.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I have to tell you they were really tasty!  You might want to fry up some of your homemade pickles.  Here's the recipe:

Deep Fried Dill Pickles

Peanut oil
1-quart dill pickles
1-cup buttermilk
2 cups plain cornmeal
1-tablespoon salt

Place enough peanut oil in a 4 to 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven to come halfway up the side of the pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to 390 to 400 degrees F.

Remove the pickles from their brine and cut lengthwise into quarters, like spears. Lay the spears on a sheet pan lined with paper towels and pat them dry.

Place the buttermilk in 1 shallow dish and mix together the cornmeal and salt in a separate dish. Dip each pickle, one at a time, first into the buttermilk, then into the cornmeal and then repeat. Carefully place each spear into the hot oil and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes. You can fry 3 to 4 pickles in the pot at a time. Adjust the heat, if necessary, in order to maintain a constant temperature of 390 to 400 degrees F.

 Transfer the pickles to a paper towel lined cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce of your choice.