This has been a summer of wonderful rains, lots of heat, overall good conditions for most gardeners around here. Unfortunately, I planted late and only a little and have been showing again that a green thumb is not part of my anatomy.
Still, thanks to many other gardeners I know, I have spent the afternoon making some quick refrigerator pickles along with a very experimental bar cookie/dessert idea using an unusual ingredient only gardeners are likely to have.
First the pickles. The next entry will provide the results of my dessert experiment.
My kids' Uncle Denny always has a huge garden, and he plants lots of cucumbers so that he has plenty for his famous refrigerator pickles. Thanks to his generosity, my house now smells of vinegar and dill, and two large containers of bright green pickles are ready for some time in the refrigerator.
Uncle Denny's Overnight Dills
1 c sugar
1 c vinegar (I prefer cider vinegar)
1/4 c salt--I have had no problem using iodized "table" salt, but you could be a purist and use pickling salt instead
2 c water
dill--as much as you have and want to use
cucumbers--this amount covered about 3 large (6 to 7 inch) cucumbers
Boil the sugar, vinegar, water, and salt together for a minute or two.
While the mixture is cooking, scrub the cucumbers and cut lengthwise into eighths or twelfths. Then cut each sliver into about 3 inch lengths. Layer the cucumbers in a large bowl with the dill and pour the boiling brine over, covering all with liquid. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
This recipe is very similar to several that can be frozen, but Dennis has never frozen his. They do well for weeks in the refrigerator--if you can keep them from being eaten well before that.