Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dill Pickles....love them

Once again I am buried  in cucumbers... I love these pickles and this year I grew my own dill heads so I'm excited to use them.
The “head” of dill is the entire seed head of a dill plant it looks like  flower kind of...the sprig is the fern looking part of the plant that grows on the stem. This plant is fun to grow and I love using a sprig of dill to garnish a dish...like deviled eggs, appetizers, and soups. For ideas type in your google search bar garnishing with dill sprigs and have fun!!! 
 
 
 
 


Ingredients:

8 pounds of pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
11 cups water
2/3 cup of pickling salt
16 cloves of garlic peeled
8 sprigs of fresh dill weed
8 tsp of dill weed and seed
8 dill heads (optional)
peppercorns
mustard seed
1/2 cup sugar (optional)
pickling spices

Directions:

1. Wash cucumbers and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice for at least 2 hours but not more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes.

2. In a large pot over medium high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

3. Tie Pickling spices in a net and add to the large pot.

4. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, one sprig of dill, 1 tsp of dill seed and weed, sprinkles of peppercorns and mustard seeds, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about a pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you cleaned the jars rims of any residue.

5. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process jars for 15 minutes.

6. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep up to 2 years if stored in a cool place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tomato Jam.....great for appetizers and fantastic on a BLT!!!

My Gardner Guy's Tomato Jam.... 

Crostini with Ricotta and tomato jam or use goat cheese....it is great!!!
 

Use this as a great appetizer to top cheese and crackers, on a bagel. If your like My Gardnerguy right off the spoon is the best!!!

This Tomato Jam has become my secret ingredient in My Gardner Guy"s BLT sandwich I just mix it up with my mayonnaise and It gives the wonderful BLT a gourmet taste....also try the next link for a great dressing...
Wonderful dressing for a BLT Salad....link coming....http://mygardnerguy.blogspot.com/2011/10/simple-twist-on-blt.html

Tomato Jam

6-8 cups small tomatoes (1-2" in diameter skins on seeds in)
2 cups sugar
1 T grated ginger
zest and juice of 2 limes
zest and juice of 1 lemon
6-8 TBS of a strong vinegar
1-2 tsp. red chili flakes....use what looks good to you, optional

Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until it looks jammy; expect this to take an hour/ hour and a half and maybe even longer. When jam is ready, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/3 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, smile....add it to your pantry collection of good food!!!
On a bagel over cream cheese....breakfast

This makes a wonderful gift...they will come back for more!!!
A dipping sauce...My Gardner Guy's way...

Plenty to put in my pantry....pretty, pretty, pretty..



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