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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pickles and Skateboards

Yes, I thought that title might get your attention. They're certainly an odd pair. Luckily, for me and for you, they have absolutely nothing to do with one another except that they're part of two projects that I'm working on.
Pickles
Cucumbers are growing like crazy in my garden. We're also receiving a few from our CSA through Avalon Acres. (Side note, lots of great photo identification of fruits and veggies on the Avalon site) Our family actually really likes cucumbers, even the kids will eat them. I've made my favorite greek salad using them but we still have plenty. So, I decided that I'd make some pickles. I'm more of a savory pickle eater so I began with a garlic dill recipe from here. I didn't have any crushed red pepper so I left it out. Hope that doesn't make them gross as I made 8 jars of them! I had never canned pickles before so I did quite a bit of research to figure out what materials that I would need. Jars seem to be fairly readily available at all of our local supermarkets, even the 'ghetto' Kroger near us. I bought mine at Walmart because we happened to be there. I also purchased a huge stock pot, a jar lifter, and a Ball Canning Discovery Kit. The kit included a green plastic rack that allowed me to use my stock pot and not need to purchase a special canning pot. If the jars rest on the bottom of the pot, they're likely to break.
I found the canning process pretty easy and it didn't really take long. The longest part was waiting for the water to boil in the HUGE stockpot. I sliced the cucumbers both long-ways and crosswise, testing which way might taste the best. I have opened one jar and the pickles taste pretty good. They're certainly strong but the brine smells just like pickle juice! I made the labels for the jars using Word and printed them on full-size label sheets.Skateboards
And you're probably wondering about the skateboards. I saw this fun idea in Country Living magazine to use skateboards as shelves in a boy's room. Since our little boy is turning into a not-so-little boy, I'm trying to transition his room into a room that can grow with him. I didn't figure that I'd actually be able to find any second-hand skateboards but happened to stop in at the Goodwill Outlet that is not too far from home. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found not one but two skateboards in the bargain bin! So, for $7 (plus the cost of 4 L-shaped brackets), I brought home a new shelving system for Alexander. He's excited and can't wait until Peter can mount them in his room. Until then, the kids are enjoying 'riding' the boards around the house.Again, it is so difficult to snap a picture of Charlotte without getting the back of her head or a big blur. I took about 20 pictures trying to show how much fun she was having lying on her tummy on this secondhand skateboard. What fun for a little girl!

2 comments:

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

what a great idea for the skateboards! and how did you find the graphics for the labels???

Anne Hamilton said...

Carrie, the graphics are just copied/pasted/cropped from clipart that I found online. I just typed in pickles in google and searched until I found what I wanted. Then, I pasted it into word and added the writing.