We have, for the past six or so summers made sun pickles. Apparently the heat has melted our memories, because when I brought home all the stuff, the family, one by one, bailed on me.
As I had my precious baby girls gathered 'round me in the kitchen, I announced, "Today, we're making sun pickles!"
The Dad, ever supportive, said, "I can't stand the smell of vinegar, so you clearly don't need me," and he excused himself to go watch the badminton players throw their game. (Really? Nerds throwing a game? Is it Dungeons and Dragons or what?!!?)
"We don't need him," I mumbled to The Daughters and we set to cleaning the pickling cukes I bought at the farmer's market. When almost all the dirt had been rinsed, we stuffed them into our jar.
At this point, I decided give each girl a task. Daughter 1 was assigned to peel the garlic, and Daughter 2 was asked to wash the fresh dill.
"Oh gross, Momma," Daughter 1 started, "I am not doing this. I hate garlic. I only like garlic on bread with butter if it's toasted. I do not want to even touch this."
"You think that's gross? Momma's going to put weeds in the pickles," Daughter 2 tried to console and one-up her sister simultaneously.
I explained, "It's not weed. It's dill. It's going to flavor the cucumbers."
"Cucumbers?" Daughter 1 exclaimed, "I don't like cucumbers!"
"It's how we make pickles," I sighed. "Cucumbers become pickles."
"Gross again, Momma!" she screeched. "I'm outta here."
I smiled at Daughter 2. "Fine. We'll be the only ones who get to eat these pickles, huh?"
"Are you putting dipweed in them?" she questioned with her arms resolutely crossed over her chest.
"It's dill and yes."
"Then count me out. This is the weirdest thing you've ever made us do," she muttered as she shuffled her flip-flopped feet right out of the kitchen.
Wanna make sun pickles for yourself?
1 clear, glass sun tea jar.
pickling cucumbers to fill the jar
2 t alum
3 c pickling salt
3 - 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 jalapeno with the end cut off
fresh dill - however much you want
32 oz vinegar
Pile the cukes in the jar and sprinkle the alum, salt, garlic, jalapeno, dill on top. Pour vinegar over the top and fill the rest with water. Seal the lid very tightly and set in the sun for three (3) hot days. You can shake it if you want . It's kind of fun to say in a seductive voice to your husband, "Wanna shake my pickles for me?" If he buys that it's foreplay, he'll shake it twice a day for ya.
After three days, refrigerate the jar for about 12 hours and then enjoy!
Let me know how your family responds... I'll be here waiting for your comments, eating my pickles. All by myself.