Pickles & Pesto!

Recently, I've made it a personal goal to take small chunks of time out of my day while Salem is napping to do some things that encourage my heart to keep following the desires God has given it. Probably the strongest of those desires is the desire to create, which is why I have been trying my hand at creating things with fresh food (from the farmer's market and friends' gardens). Yesterday, I followed a recipe in our Magic Bullet recipe book to make fresh pesto. I have to be honest, I'm having trust issues with the Magic Bullet recipe book. It called for 2 cloves of garlic, I only put one in and it was still so overpowering that my friend Bekah said it was burning her mouth when she tried it! I had to keep adding basil and pine nuts to compensate (Bekah so graciously volunteered to taste test each time more was added). Finally, I was satisfied about 30 basil leaves later! The end result was a large baby food jar packed to the brim of deliciously fresh pesto (Made with goat cheddar, by the way!). For lunch I had a smoked salmon and rice mozzarella sandwhich on tapioca bread with a nice spread of this homemade pesto... Can you say YUM?
When I was in Michigan, Jenna gave me a recipe for sweet refrigerator pickles, however I am more of a dill pickle fan myself, so I decided to track down a dill refrigerator pickle recipe online and here's what I came up with:
Dill Refrigerator Pickles
Bring to a boil:
6 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
Fill gallon jug with:
10 or so pickling cucumbers
5-6 whole cloves garlic
1 large bunch fresh dill (1/4-1/2 lb)
Pour cooled solution over pickles and refrigerate for one week. Can also be used on cauliflower, carrots, or peppers. Store in refrigerator.

Simple, eh? Here are my pickles waiting for the brine solution to be pour over them:
Now here's a great find. My mom passed along this canning cookbook to me from 1973. It has great canning tips and tricks and lots of yummy recipes. I'm going to give a few of them a try. Let me know if there might be any recipes in it you'd like to know about!


  1. I have only tried pickles once and decided not to try again. :-/ I never realized you could do refrigerator pickles! I might want to try that recipe. Can you share Jenna's as well?

    Also - can you share how to make pesto? I loved that stuff when some was given to me as a gift, and I have fresh (purple) basil on hand, but don't know how to go about it.

    and what was on that sandwich? did you say rice cheddar? you are giving me a lot of brand new ideas - never heard of this either! did you make that too, or is it buyable?

  2. Here you go!

    (Jenna's recipe)
    Aunt Jane's Refrigerator Pickles
    Brine: 2 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
    3 1/4 cups white sugar
    1/2 cup canning salt
    1 teaspoon tumerick
    1 teaspoon mustard seed
    1 teaspoon celery seed
    3 big onions
    Bring to a boil. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Pour boiling brine over layered pickles & onions. Let cool and refrigerate. Can be used in a week-- or it keeps well a long time in a cool place. Double brine for a gallon jar.

    My pesto recipe wasn't so accurate, but this is about what I ended up doing...
    30 basil leaves
    1 large chunk goat cheddar (or you can use regular parmesean)
    2-3 tbsp olive oil
    3 tbsp pine nuts
    1 (small) clove garlic (or half a large one)
    Pulse in a food processor until it becomes a slightly grainy paste.

    Rice Mozzarella was on my sandwich. I buy it at New Seasons (a local store here in Portland) but you may be able to find it somewhere else or on this website:

    Hope this helps!

  3. Oh man, I put a LOT of garlic in mine. I much have an immunity to it.

  4. thank you for the recipes, Rae!


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