When I was a little girl I spent considerable time during the summer with my grandparents in the Pacific Northwest when my father was flying for Northwest Airlines and also in the Air Force Reserves. All summer I would miss my friends in San Diego where I lived with my mom and step-father. One Grandmother in particular always encouraged me to leave all of that behind me and live life to the fullest. In other words giving up the ghost…
Fast forward a few years and I found myself moving to the East Coast and leaving everything I loved about the West Coast behind me. San Diego was a fabulous place to grow up and the Pacific Northwest was always equally as scenic. The food, the people, suddenly it was all different and I felt like I just did not fit in.
After pondering a move back to San Diego I decided I really needed to give my new home a chance. That meant enjoying everything it had to offer. The sights, sounds, and even the weather. Getting used to four seasons, using the humidity as inspiration to launch my now thriving vegetable garden, and more. Along the way I met my husband, became a photographer, and frankly can’t wait to find out what comes next..southern style.
If you have a vegetable garden canning is an essential cooking technique to harvesting and enjoying your hard work all year long. These pickles are delicious, spicy, and very flavorful. Leave the food chemicals at the grocery store. Most pickles have ingredients that belong in a science lab instead of a kitchen. This winter you will be glad you took the time.
Vegetable gardening is part of my new East Coast life and the humidity makes for fabulous organic vegetables. This August my husband and I will be out enjoying Washington D.C. at night after work and enjoying all of the monuments light for the night sky. I often tell him about my West Coast life on our walks but deep down I have decided to love the East Coast as long as we decide to stay.
Half Sour Pickles
Crisp vegetables, like cucumbers, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, tomatillos
Seasoning spices of your choice (coriander seeds, pickling spices, dill seeds, celery seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorn)
Fresh herbs (garlic cloves, fresh dill, fresh rosemary)
Brine (for 4-5 quarts of pickles)
8 cups water
4 cups vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt
Prepare wide-mouth jars and lids by washing thoroughly and placing in simmering water until ready to fill.
Combine brine ingredients and bring to boil.
Place half of the fresh herbs and seasoning spices in bottom of jars. Prepare vegetables and pack in jars. Pour brine over vegetables, filling to within 1/2 inch of rim.
Clean rims carefully. Remove lids from simmering water and place on jars, then secure with rings, hind tightening.
Cool and store in refrigerator for up to a month.
Note: Use the following spice combinations:
- 2 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of fresh dill (or 1/2 tsp. dill seed), 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 cloves garlic, 1 sprig fresh dill (or 1/4 tsp. dill seed), 1 tsp. mustard seed, 1/4 tsp. peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic, 1 sprig fresh dill (or 1/4 tsp. dill seed), 1 tsp. celery seed
- Fresh dill or 1/4 tsp. dill seed, 1 Tbsp. pickling spice, 1/4 tsp. peppercorns