Getting Pickled

I have no room to complain about the abundance of veggies we are getting from our garden this year, especially since last year was a total wash.  The only thing that I might say is that when life has you going a hundred different directions, your garden doesn’t wait for you to catch up; it just keeps growing.

The vegetable drawers in my fridge are packed full of zucchini and cucumbers.  And now our jalapeno peppers are coming on strong.  Yes, it’s time to make homemade pepper jelly.

My mother was a domestic wonder woman, and truthfully I think she enjoyed it just as I do.  She made it all look so easy and I know that isn’t always the case.  My daughter just bummed homemade strawberry freezer jam from me (just as I did my mom), and she even asked if we could make my mom’s recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce (together) this year.  Could it be that she looks at me as a domestic wonder woman too?  She does tell me that I make blue ribbon deviled eggs and that makes me laugh every time she say’s it.  Of all the things to be admired for, it all boils down to eggs?  No pun intended.

Today, I want to share one of my mom’s recipes with you.  This is my favorite refrigerator pickle recipe.  You won’t believe how easy they are to make, and if you like sweet pickles, you won’t be able to stay out of them.  They are not overly sweet in my opinion, and they are super crunchy for a refrigerator pickle – yum!

Sheila’s Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

Makes about 2 quarts

8 medium sized cucumbers, sliced thin

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin

1/2 c. salt

In a large bowl, place cucumbers, onion, and salt.  cover with cold water and let stand 2 hours. 

Drain and lightly rinse cucumbers with cold water.  Add the following:

2 c. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. mustard seed

1 tbsp. celery seed (I used 1 tsp. of celery salt)

1 c. vinegar ( I used 1 1/2 cups of apple wine vinegar since the recipe didn’t specify)

Mix all ingredients well; cover and place in fridge. Stir a couple times a day for a day or so.  These pickles keep in the fridge for several weeks.

These pickles make a great snack, go great with a hearty sandwich, and are delicious with hamburgers or pulled pork sandwiches too. 

So, are you a sweet or dill pickle fan? 

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Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Soup for Two

Weekends are perfect for making soup.  There is usually lot’s of time for chopping, dicing, and simmering.  This weekend I made a pot of Buffalo Wing Chicken Soup, along with a pot of Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Soup.

I made both soups in less than an hour (with the help of hubby chopping and dicing) and served them for dinner with a loaf of warm French bread. 

I’ve been thinking how much fun a soup party would be.  Everyone could bring a pot of their favorite homemade soup, along with their recipes to share.  Throw in a big tossed salad, some bread, and there you have it.

Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Soup

4 tbsp. margarine

1 small onion, diced

1/8 c.  diced celery

6 mini carrots, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 c. diced ham

2 c. broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

3 tbsp. flour

2 c. chicken broth

2 c. skim milk

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

In a large pot add margarine, onion, celery,  and garlic.  Sauté until vegetables are soft and tender.  Add diced ham, carrots and broccoli, cook for about two minutes.   Stir in flour.  Add chicken broth, milk, and pepper; simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.  Add cheese and stir thoroughly.  Turn off heat and let soup sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Makes a little over two servings.

If you were going to a soup party what kind would you make to share?

Congratulations to Sandra of Sweet Sensations, the lucky winner of my Hershey Candy giveaway!