Sunday, September 23, 2007

Aunt Della's Unexpected Dills

While exploring the world of pickle potential in my Googlemobile, I found one site where the blog owner asked readers for favorite refrigerator pickle recipes. The response that charmed me came from a woman who said, simply, "I always use Aunt Della's recipe," and she laid it out for everyone. It called for 1 cup mayo, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Slice in 1 large cucumber. Keep in covered container in refrigerator.

Okay. That's just about exactly the same mixture I was taught to use when making traditional cole slaw dressing -- except I was taught to go heavier on the sugar and vinegar. And I had one regular green cuke in the basket. And I was pretty sure Aunt Della wouldn't mind if I dilled up her recipe. See, it tastes pretty good the way Aunt Della lays it out and, to my mind, tastes even better when I jack up the sugar and vinegar portions. Still, something was lacking.

Aha! As I munched away at a dressing-coated slice of cuke, my gaze fell upon the bottle of McCormick's "It's A Dilly" seasoning. This is good stuff, Coffee Mates. A salt-free mixture of onion, garlic, dill weed, lemon peel, dill seed, and jalapeno pepper. (Don't worry -- I think they just waved the jalapeno pepper in the general direction of the mixture because I sure can't taste any.) I sprinkled a generous portion into Aunt Della's dressing, mixed everything up good and sampled another cuke dripping with the thick and now dill-speckled dressing.

Oh yeah. Oh, this is righteous. It is. During the early football games, I had a most excellent sandwich that consisted of a layer of cukes, a layer of cheddar, and another layer of cukes. Although the dressing is thick, it really is a good idea to eat the sandwich over a plate because it's messy, messy, messy. Good stuff often is, have you noticed?

Now for the report on the pickles I packed away yesterday. I'm happy to tell you they turned out pretty close to perfect. Okay, fairly close. Well, they would have probably been fantastic if my grandson James -- who is a Steelers fan but otherwise a great kid -- hadn't been laying some serious smack on my Raiders just as I was sprinkling the dried chili peppers into the pickle mixture. I vaguely remember thinking the chili was old so maybe not as robust as fresh so I should probably use a bit more. Mostly, though, I was concentrating on defending my gridiron guys so there was, perhaps, not quite as much attention paid to detail as there should have been.

What I'm saying is, when I sampled the pickles this morning, they were crunchy and tasty and crispy and -- HOLY FLAMETHROWER, BATMAN!

I think there are only skid marks where my tonsils used to be but I'm afraid to look. Needless to say, I have performed emergency procedures to alleviate the crisis. First I drained the pickles and then I rinsed the bejaysus out of 'em. Then I dumped them in a bowl and covered them with equal parts cider vinegar and water, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Put everything back in the freezer bag and returned it to the refrigerator. I just checked -- the procedure was successful. Although the pickles still generate heat, now it's merely Pleasantly Toasty instead of Raging Inferno From the Third Ring of Hell.

The final pickle procedure of the day was a far more sedate sort of production and is pictured below. In a small saucepan, put 1 cup water, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup wine vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons mixed pickling spice and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer four minutes. Thinly slice 2 or 3 cucumbers (a couple of cups?) and put in container. Slowly pour hot liquid over cukes, filling to the top. Let cool to room temperature, top off with remaining liquid (if any) and keep covered in refrigerator.

Okay, the thing is, with refrigerator pickles, you're not supposed to leave them sitting there forever, the way you can do a jar of pickles that has been seriously processed, either commercially or at home. Which is why most refrigerator pickle recipes are for small quantities that, theoretically, can be consumed in a couple or three weeks. And I now have one small batch of the sneaky hot pickles, one small batch of the sedate pickles and a dilly of a bowl of Aunt Della's pickles.

And I still have some cucumbers left.

Well, guess what? You can also make freezer pickles! These can be kept up to 6 months in the freezer but should be consumed in a week or so after being thawed in the refrigerator. Which means one should freeze them in small portions, correct? Okay. I've got a couple of recipes lined up for freezer pickles but haven't decided which one is gonna make the cut. In the meantime, here are a couple of links that might interest anyone wanting to pickle any excess produce. This one, for instance, is a Yahoo Directory of 15 links to pickle sites. One of which is my guy, Alton Brown. If that's not enough for you, venture over to Hungry Monster for an unbelievable list of 286 pickle recipes. That'll keep you from playing in traffic!

Now if you'll kindly excuse me, there is an evening football game to entertain me as I munch on some more of Aunt Della's Unexpected Dills. To which I'm going to add some cherry tomatoes -- just because I can.


John Bailey said...

Mmmmm! Pickles! And just as Autumn swings in, too. I was wandering along the 'seasonal' aisle in the supermarket on Saturday and they have a majestic display of pickles of all shapes, sizes and varieties. There's a major movement of working folks around Europe these days, and they bring their recipes with them... so many pickles, so little time!

bonnie said...

All this pickle talk I remember my mom trying to make them the old fashioned way. For days they sat in a crock with a plate on top and for days she would fuss because they just weren't turning out to suit her.

Our refrigerator wouldn't have been large enough to hold the amount she did.

Funny I don't remember eating any of them. :-)

Jo said...

Gee, Dee, I'd say you've gotten yourself into a pickle. Love your way with words.

Mage And George said...

OK, today I am going to attempt to make a lower fat version of this. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Anonymous said...


מלון [url=]כפר בעיר[/url] - אינטימיות, [url=]שקט[/url] . אנחנו מספקים שירותי אירוח מגוונים גם ישנו במקום שירות חדרים המכיל [url=]ארוחות רומנטיות[/url] במחירים מיוחדים אשר יוגשו ישירות לחדרכם.

לפרטים אנא לפנות לאתר האינטרנט שלנו - [url=]כפר בעיר[/url] [url=][img][/img][/url]

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon

Mansour Engineering have a refined understanding of client and market priorities in all facets of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering from engineering assessments and studies through typical and specialized design commissions, document production, contract administration, design/build, energy studies, field inspection and supervision, to building systems commissioning and consulting services for building operations.

[url=] click here to go to Mansour Engineering[/url]

Anonymous said...


FREE ebay has finally arrived in the 21st century" at service is rock solid and 100% FREE.

Anonymous said...

Online betting is just another rapidly growing diversion in the visual community. You will bet on the sport you choose through websites on the internet. All the details of betting are stated clearly on the site itself, including the possible amount that you may get if you'll win. [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]apuestas[/url] [url=]jouer en ligne[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] [url=]bet online[/url] The line shows that San Diego is -3, with a total of 44-points. The reason why there is a line is because one team is going to be favored over another to win the game. This way the oddsmakers can level the playing field, making the bet attractive to both sides. In this case San Diego is the favorite and New England is the underdog. This means that if you are placing your bet on San Diego, the Chargers will have to beat the Patriots by at least 3 points for you to win the bet. If they lose the game or win by less than 3, you lose your bet. The second number shows 44, which is the over/under score. By betting the over, you are putting money on the possibility that the sum of both team’s score will be greater than 44-points at the end of the game.

Anonymous said...

Winning at online casinos is possible for anybody who is willing to put the time in. Unfortunately, a lot of people are looking for a get rich quick scheme, so they start to place bets without doing the proper amount of research. When you know what is going on at a internet casino you immediately increase your chance of success. And if you can couple this with a bit of strategy and know how, you will be well on your way to winning money. Just remember, the more you know the more you will win.
[url=]casino[/url] casino At download-based, you download software which connects to the casino, and play games through the software. Often the software can be downloaded in the back round while you enter your player information.
[url=]online casino[/url] casino Betting is still very much present, even when playing online casinos. You will be required to place your money on an account, and this will be transferred to the winner via PayPal or Neteller. So before handing in cash, check out the website, first! If they have more members and a good reputation, you can almost be assured that you get your moneys worth. Make sure that before downloading any of software an online casino is offering, there has to be test run of the product first. You have to be able to play for free before you download the software, since this may help in protecting you from fraud in the end. An example of this software is the Cryptologic, is safe and can be trusted, since it is listed in the Nasdaq. [url=]online casino[/url] casino [url=]casino affiliate program[/url] On each one of these bingo cards, you will find 27 spaces grouped in 9 columns x 3 rows format. Each number is unduplicated; hence, it will not be repeated anywhere else in the sheet. [url=]bingo[/url] [url=]bingo[/url] bingo bingo Bingo is usually played in special halls where many players can play at the same time. The actual fun is the tension building up seeing other players closer and closer to the finish line. However, with the advent of the Internet, BINGO has gone online as well. There are many ways to play on the net, though the basics remain the same. You will have to complete a given pattern before anyone else in order to win. Over the net, you need not shout the computer will flash it out for you. Some online games also have chat attached to the games where you can speak with other players online and have fun right from your home, office or any other place where you can get on the net. Chatting is a great way to meet new people and pick up the tips and tricks. [url=]phentermine[/url] buy phentermine