I took the kids to the beach for a few days a couple of weeks ago. It was our first beach trip of the season. And, my first time ever making that trip without my husband. We went to meet family, and Tom wasn’t able to join us due to his workload. So, at 6:00 pm on a Wednesday night the kids and I set out for our four hour trip. I continued to glance at my GPS timer countdown. Yes, we still had 4 hours to go! As soon as we pulled out of our local Whole Foods parking lot (where we had dinner), the kids started asking if we were almost there. It did cross my mind a few times to turn around and head home as fast as possible. But, I kept going and we got into our groove. The kids came together and chose a movie that would please them both, and I didn’t focus quite so much on the countdown timer anymore. The kids were beyond excited about this trip so I tried really hard to change my attitude and my mindset so that I could become excited too. It worked! I always tell them they have the ability to change their attitude at any given moment. This was a time when I needed to practice what I preach. I love how my kids show me my true heart. They keep me on the straight and narrow and I am so grateful for that. Once we got there, we had a wonderful three days of eating, playing and relaxing in what I would consider to be my “happy place.”
While we were soaking in the sun on the beach, the cucumbers in our home garden decided to rapidly multiply. I have honestly never seen a cucumber plant expand the way these beauties have. As soon as I walked in the door, my husband looked at me very seriously and said “you need to learn how to make pickles.” We’ve had a garden for several years now, but this is the first time we have ever had such success with cucumbers. The vines are magnificent and they are taking over most of the garden as well as some of the yard. So yes, It was crucial that I quickly learn how to make pickles. As I researched many different recipes I was a bit disappointed as most of them required some amount of sugar. I was not on board. Finally I came across this recipe from diynatural.com and I hope I never have to purchase store bought pickles again! The recipe is simple, the ingredients are wholesome and the results are delicious. We adapted the recipe a bit to fit our needs, which was to make them a little spicier. We have wonderful jalapenos in the garden, so it was a natural thought to add them to the mix. We also opted for the highly beneficial apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, and I couldn’t have imagined they would turn out so good. While cucumbers are so abundantly in season, please give this recipe a try. I hope you enjoy!
Healthy Homemade Pickles
1 quart jar with a lid
2-3 pickling cucumbers (as many as will fit in the jar)
1 TBSP dried dill weed
2-4 cloves fresh garlic (I use 4)
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP kosher salt
20 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 jalapeno pepper – cut in half lengthwise
filtered water – enough to top off jar
Cut cucumbers and add them to the jar. Add the remaining ingredients except water. Once everything is in the jar, fill to the top with filtered water and screw the lid on very tightly. Shake the jar to equally distribute the spices. Leave on your countertop for 12 hours. Shake the jar again and turn it upside down for an additional 12 hours. For the 2nd 12 hours, I place the jar on a cookie sheet or in a large pot in case the lid leaks. After a total of 24 hours, taste your pickles. Refrigerate for up to one month. Enjoy!
Here is another great cucumber recipe: