Of the many skills I learned from my Granny, I think I am most thankful for the ability to make jams and preserves. It's so nice to take the beautiful and delicious fruit in the summer and have it available for my family in the winter.
But the one thing I can--without fail---every summer is pickles. My mom was not one for canning but my dad loved Granny's bread-and-butter pickles and I can remember at the end of every summer, just before school started up again, making batch after batch of these pickles with her.
It's always hard to get people Christmas presents as the years go on...you don't want to get something unneeded or unwanted. But I know that for Dad and Granny, I have their Christmas shopping done when I get the last of the spices needed for their bread-and-butter pickles!
First step is to scrub the cucumbers and let them dry. You can use regular cukes, but I used Kirby this year because I was going to try my hand at making a batch of dill.
Six quarts of thinly sliced cucumbers and three quarts thinly sliced onions soaking for several hours in a salt brine.
Two batches soaking...please ignore the messy kitchen. I think I was on my third and fourth batch when I took this picture!
Two batches soaking and one in the boiling water bath...I was on a roll!
Here's the "fruits" or should I say "vegetables" of my labors...they look so pretty on the shelf in the basement! And it's great to have some of the Christmas shopping done already (yep, I'm my Granny's girl!)