Thursday, August 31, 2023

Recipes From The Porch: Refrigerator Dill Pickles

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here or not, but, I am not a fan of cucumbers. I really do not like the taste of them and will pick them off my salads in restaurants, tossing them to whatever cucumber-lover I am with at the time; this is usually Hugh, who can't get enough of them. In fact, I only grow cucumbers so that Hugh can eat them, or, so that I can make pickles, because, while I hate cucumbers, I love pickles.

I'm weird like that.

My grandma used to make the best bread and butter pickles, and I have used her recipe in the past. She also made dill pickles, which were amazing. I'm relatively confident that her dill pickles were canned for long-term storage, which is a lot more time consuming than the recipe that I am sharing today.

Refrigerator dill pickles can be made in an afternoon, and, while they won't store for as long as traditionally canned pickles, they really don't need to; they're so delicious, they go fast.


10-12 pickling cucumbers

4 cups water

2 cups white vinegar

2 tbsp kosher salt

1 tsp sugar

1 big bunch fresh dill, thick stems removed

1 head garlic

peppercorn kernels, to taste


In a medium sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Allow brine to come to room temperature.

Meanwhile, separate, peel, and smash garlic cloves. Or, if you are like me; discover that your "fresh" garlic is actually not fresh at. all. In fact, it is unusable. 

Pivot to jarred garlic cloves, which will work just fine.

Slice cucumbers into spears, or slice into chips. If you have a handy-dandy ridged cutter, now is the time to bust it out. I had actually forgotten that I owned such a beast, but remembered after I had sliced half a cuke. I tossed the less fancy slices into a cucumber salad for Hugh, because I wanted consistency in my pickle chips.

Loosely pack sterilized quart jars with cucumbers, garlic, and dill. Use as much of each as your heart desires, depending on how spicy and/or dilly you like your pickles. Add 10-12 peppercorns to each jar, again, depending on your tastes (more, if you like!).

Pour brine over cucumbers, making sure to submerge each spear/chip. Seal jars and place in refrigerator and allow to ferment for at least a week.

The pickles will keep in the fridge for about two months.

But, let's be honest, they'll get eaten up waaaayyy before that.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Up Wednesday, August 2023 Edition


And just like that, the summer was over.

There's nothing left to do but write about it in this month's What's Up Wednesday, hosted, as always, by Sheaffer and Shay.

What I'm Eating

I've had a few really good restaurant meals this month, including this airline chicken breast with Parmesan risotto. Why do they call it airline chicken? I have no idea, but it was delicious.

I also had an Italian sausage cannelloni, which was a first for me. I enjoyed it, and would definitely order it again.

On a slightly healthier note, Erin and I have been walking from Not So New Job to the local hospital, where we have been hitting the salad bar in the cafeteria. In addition to salad fixins, they also have two featured soups of the day. The Thai chicken fire and rice soup was a winner.

When I'm not eating out, I'm enjoying the fruits of my gardening labors, quite literally. Tomatoes are fruits, after all.

What I'm Reminiscing About

I'm not reminiscing about anything; I've been too busy living in the moment. 

What I'm Loving

Relaxing on the porch has become a favorite way to kill time, lately.

Relaxing in the garden comes in a close second.

And, actually cooking with the vegetables that I am growing is right up there, as well.

Speaking of cooking; I purchased the cutest little spoons from a shop in Pixler. This has become both my and Hugh's favorite way to use salt and pepper. It's actually less messy than the shakers we were using previously.

What I've Been Up To

I hosted an event on the porch every single weekend of the month. The first was a casual dinner with friends; while we ate, we listened to the Colin Raye concert that was taking place in the park less than a block away. 

The second event was the bridal shower that Queen B and I hosted for Miss Mia. It was a lovely party and I got to meet both Mia's mother and her soon-to-be Mother in Law.

The third event was a wine tasting that I invited Mama Jill and her family over for. I didn't take any pictures of that evening, however, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Then, this past weekend, I hosted twenty-some of Erin and Kristi's best friends for a vintage-themed Bon Voyage party. 

It was a very busy month for the porch.

In other news, my staff and I participated in National Night Out, with our local law enforcement department. The highlight of the event was the dunk tank, in which Hugh got soaked by a long line of eager children, including his own.

One last thing; Mom, Shanti, Shanti's mom, and I went to the "pick-your-own" flower field in Pixler, where we cut and arranged bouquets. It was such a beautiful day, and I could not have picked better people to spend it with.

What I'm Working On

My golf swing! That's right; I'm golfing. Or, learning to, anyway. My current skill level is somewhere at -2 on a scale from 1-10, but, I'm determined to at least crawl out of the negative numbers by the time our group lessons are done. What? I forgot to mention that I'm golfing in a group? Hell yes, I am. This is Team Building 101 right here.

What I'm Dreading

I am not currently dreading anything, which is a very peaceful place to find myself.

What I'm Excited About

Halloween is almost exactly two months away! Time to bust out the skeletons!

What I'm Watching

I think we can all agree that television kind of sucks right now, amiright? So, my greatest form of entertainment has been watching the hummingbirds at my feeders. They are fascinating, and, keep me entertained for minutes at a time.

What I'm Listening To

As I type this, an old episode of The Office is playing in the background. Currently, the office staff are debating the question of whether or not Hillary Swank is hot. I personally never found her all that attractive, which puts me in the same camp as Phyllis, Kevin, Creed, Oscar, Andy, and Meredith. In case you were curious.

What I'm Reading

Are you kidding? Did you not see how busy my month has been? Who has time for reading with an event schedule like that? (The answer you are probably searching for is: People who are better at organizing their time, and you would not be wrong)

What I'm Wearing

Let's just say that I have worn more dresses this month than in the last six months, combined. I haven't really hated it, not gonna lie.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Queen B will be home tomorrow and we will be spending the weekend celebrating Miss Mia's wedding. Looks like I'll be wearing another dress.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

I'm really hoping to take some time off toward the end of September. That's definitely something to look forward to.

Favorite Amazon Find This Month

I purchased these fly fans to keep flies away from the food that I served on the porch at each of the month's events. They worked like a charm.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The One With the Bon Voyage Party

This past Saturday, I hosted the last of the events scheduled for the porch this year; Erin and Kristi's Bon Voyage party. The Lesbians leave for Wales the day after Not So New Job's final fundraiser of the year, which will give us another opportunity to send them off with the fanfare that they deserve, which makes me happy because, sadly, Kristi's grandmother passed away and she was unable to attend the Bon Voyage, as she was attending the funeral out of state.

Erin represented for both of them at the party, and Kristi did FaceTime with us for awhile, so it was ok. Erin arrived early to help decorate and then spent four hours greeting her guests and mingling with the crowd, and, what a crowd we had! Did I manage to take a single picture of said crowd? No, no I did not. I was too busy refilling the Sangria, snacks, ice, and other important items.

All in all, it was a great party. Erin got to say goodbye to a lot of people that she might not have seen, otherwise.

I was happy to throw the party; you know I love taking advantage of any occasion that I can entertain on the porch. This summer has been a really busy one for those types of events and I'm not complaining. I did, however, enjoy some quiet time Sunday morning, that's the beauty of the porch; it's a great place to entertain and to relax.

Do you think I'll ever get tired of reminding Hugh that he didn't want to build the porch because he didn't think we'd use it?

That was a rhetorical question, obviously.