Canning Zippy Bread & Butter Pickles

Bread & Butter Pickles
When I was thinking of what the heck to do with all of these cucumbers I Googled Crispy Pickles and this recipe is one of many that caught my eye.   Mostly because I have made a lot of pickles and never before seen a Bread & Butter Pickle recipe calling for a couple of jalapenos and grated fresh ginger, not to mention brown sugar.  This version calls for all three.  I was too curious not to try these so here they are.  They are finished, cooling on my counter, and looking fine.  As with all pickles they need to sit awhile before opening so I leave you with me, in suspense as to the flavor.  The recipe was found on Epicourious and I did do a little adaptation.

Ingredients for ZIPPY Bread & Butter Pickles :

2 1/2 pound cucumbers sliced about 1/4" thick  (mine were closer to 1/8") about 8 cups
2 large thinly sliced red onions, about 2 cups
1/3 C. pickling salt
2 C. apple cider vinegar
1 C. water
1 1/ 4 C. packed light brown sugar
1 T. grated peeled fresh ginger
1 T. turmeric
1 T. yellow mustard seeds
1 1/2 t. whole coriander seeds
1 t. celery seeds
2 fresh jalapenos or Fresno chilies pricked with a toothpick

Sterilize the jars and lids.

Toss together the cucumbers, onions, and salt in a large bowl.  Add 3-4 cups ice and set aside for 2-3 hours.   Drain; rinse well and drain again.

Combine the vinegar and the remaining ingredients with 1 cup of water in a large Pot and bring to a boil.  Stir to dissolve the sugar then add the cucumber mixture and return to a boil.

Ladle the hot vegetables and brine into clean sterile jars.  Press the vegetables to submerge  below the vinegar leaving 1/2" head space.  Wipe the rims.  Place the lids and bands onto the jars and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.  (Water should cover the lids by at least 1" and start the time after the water comes to a full boil.)  Remove the jars to a clean kitchen towel and leave undisturbed to seal.

Yield about 2 quarts.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Garden

Brian came into the kitchen as I was flitting around with something or another.....he asked if I had seen the half eaten tomato up in the big Dogwood tree? (Big as Dogwoods go.) As I looked at him in disbelief he repeated that there was a half eaten ripe and juicy tomato lodged between the limbs out front in the Dogwood tree.

I looked at him in disbelief wondering if he was "pranking" me.  But then he seemed serious.  We went straight out the front door and to the tree and it was right there!  Big as life a fat red tomato wedged into the branches half eaten just as he had said.

Alas, by the time I got to the house and grabbed the camera the breeze, or gravity, or maybe the squirrel I suspect put it there had knocked it to the ground. 

This was not a small tomato, not a cherry tomato but a full sized 3" tomato!  I keep trying to imagine just how a squirrel, the suspect, got it from the vine, across the yard, up the tree, and wedged between the branches?  A funny thing happened on the way to the garden.

Slow Carb Diet Results: 7 pounds lost in the First 15 Days Whoopee!

Just to keep me honest and psyched I am reporting that from Tuesday July 15 to Wednesday July 30 I have lost 7 pounds and am delighted!!  My favorite snack is cherry tomatoes right from my own gardens vines!

Honestly when I want a sweet treat they hit the spot.  My other snack foods include peanut butter on celery, and mixed nuts.  I only go overboard on the cherry tomatoes though!

I am really tickled to report that of the 30+ pounds I lost almost 2 years ago I have gained hardly any back.  I called the doctors office this week to confirm my weights officially and was delighted at my findings.  I attribute this to keeping one of the four diet rules and making them a habit.  That rule was to not drink any calories.  At the time I just started drinking water and have never stopped.  It is very rare for me to ever have a soft drink or sweet tea even.

If you have an interest in the other 3 rules of this diet here is the link where I explain it.

While I may not loose as quickly as some I really like the diet because I can stay on it.  Indefinitely I think.   Why?  Because the 7th day you eat whatever you want all day long!  So there is always that to look forward to and it does help with any cravings!  Actually my 7th day runs from Saturday night for dinner through Sunday night through dinner!  That may be fudging a bit too but I works for me!

My plan is to stay on this until whenever my knee surgeries happen and that is at least a year away.  It seems logical to me that the less I weigh the easier it will be.  So then, why not?