28. April 2012 · 4 comments · Categories: Appetizer, Snack · Tags: , , ,


Is it weird for me to profess my love of food blogging?  How about other food bloggers? I have only met one other food blogger face to face, and it was a fun conversation.  I have met several other bloggers through their sites and blog posts.  I subscribe to 40+ food / craft blogs, and after getting an email with a little snippet of their day summarized, you start to get to know them.  I have made some great connections into a world that I didn’t know existed until six months ago.  For some reason I hold New England Bloggers closer to my heart even though we have not met in person.

I think when you are not from a big city you are at a disadvantage and we more ‘rural’ bloggers need to stick together, so when ever I find a blog from Rhode Island or Connecticut I sign up for email or RSS to my Google reader.  They have brought great crafts, ideas, poetry, photography and yes, recipes right to my inbox  on a daily basis.  I am amazed at how supportive the food bloggers I have ‘met’.  Leanne from Around the Table:Loving food in RI and beyond was so kind and helpful when I reached out by email.  She gave some great advice and led me to find more RI and CT bloggers.

Those connections lead me to Lisa at The Cutting Edge of Ordinary also right over the state line from me in Rhode Island. I hope she finds this post complimentary, one of her posts looked so wonderful I had to try it, and it was so delicious, I had to spread the word.

Lisa has this Dill Pickle Dip recipe. I was looking for one more thing to make for Easter and decided that this would be it.  I just want to say Thank you Lisa! This dip is wonderful.  I used refrigerated deli style dill pickles and the flavor was mild, tart and creamy.  I served it with rye pretzel sticks that I found in the snack aisle, I also had some ryevita breads, but this dip would have been good on some one else’s dirty finger if that was the only thing available to me.

I did make a full recipe of this dip and it was gone, that day, by six people.  With my food processor this dip was a cinch to put together.  By hand it would be more difficult, but at that point I think I would just by the same refrigerated pickle relish so I wouldn’t have to chop up the pickles.  Either way it is worth it.  You should make it  and visit Lisa’s site for the recipe.

The days are getting longer and warmer, more sunlight means more energy both for gardening and cooking.  I have finished cleaning out the front beds and top-dressing them with some composted manure (thank you generous farm neighbor who works with my father-in-law) and now it is time to move to the back yard.  We put in a “small” garden two years ago, say 25′ x 15′, though I have a pathway running through it so the planting space is about 2/3 of that.  I started with things I liked: salsa, tomato sauce, and herbs.  Most of my herbs are perennials (thyme, oregano, tarragon, sage, mint (planted in pots to limit their ‘running’ nature) chives and rosemary).  I thought I would have to replace the rosemary every year, but despite the ‘zone 8′ hardiness it has come back better each year.  I do plant basil (two kinds), cilantro and parsley every year and I had a lot of success from seed last year (huge for me a confirmed seedling gardener).  I usually have a small selection of vegetables mainly: tomatoes, peppers both hot and sweet, zucchini, cucumbers and beans.  I want to expand the garden this year with a raised bed, but I will have to wait and see whether time (and budget) allows.

Once the garden gets going the amount it can produce is mind-blowing!  You will not know what to do with all that zucchini, a comic once said the only time they had to lock their doors growing up was when the zucchini started coming in because people would just walk in and leave their extras.  I have never had enough that I needed to leave it on my neighbor’s counters secretly but I will keep it in mind if need be.  I do usually benefit from my neighbors gardens too: one has garlic (I will try my hand at garlic this fall), one always gives little pickling cucumbers, or better yet his home-made dill pickles.

I call them “Bill Pickles.” well ’cause his name is Bill.  This year they will give some of last years supply away, for only a promise that you will return the mason jar for a refill next year.  I don’t buy pickles anymore between those and a super fast version my mother-in-law makes there is no need for commercial pickles in this house.

While the “Bill Pickle” recipe still eludes me, my mother-in-law was generous with her refrigerator pickle recipe: equal parts water and vinegar with some sugar.  We make them fresh with meals like pulled pork or burgers and dogs and I really liked them with Asian Flank Steak that used ginger and garlic with soy and sesame oil, so yummy!  I started making mine with rice wine vinegar, and I added a little crushed red pepper to the mix, just to give a little heat, I swear just a little, most of the time.

I Think once you try these refrigerator ‘pickles’ you will start making them too.  They only take 10 minutes to put together and will last a week in the fridge.  They go especially well with Asian flavors or any spicy food.  They have a fresh cool taste and give my tongue a much-needed rest when things get too hot.  Enjoy~

 

Refrigerator Pickles (With an Asian Flair)
Recipe Type: Quick Pickle
Author: Laura @ Wylde Thyme
Prep time: 1 hour 10 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Thinly sliced cucumber is marinated in a rice wine vinegar brine to make this easy refrigerator pickle
Ingredients
  • 6 Pickling Cucumbers
  • 2 Small Carrots
  • 1 C Water
  • 1 C Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Instructions
  1. Slice cucumbers (about 1/8″ thick) and carrots, you can do this by hand but a mandolin or food processor (even a box grater)will make this much faster and give more even thickness to your pickles.
  2. Mix liquid ingredients together, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  3. Place cucumbers and carrots in a large mason jar (really any container that can be covered will work).
  4. Add brine to pickles, allowing air to percolate out until fully submerged.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, I keep these in the fridge for up to a week

 

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