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Garlicky Dill Pickles

My first canning experience all by myself I made a huge batch of dill pickles.  Dill Pickles Recipe – Allrecipes.com gave me all the guidance I needed.  These pickles turned out great.  Crunchy and garlicky, I can eat them one after the other.  If you don’t care for garlic cut the amount in half or leave it out.

Homemade pickles are so much better and cost-effective.  If you have never canned just start with a small batch and have some fun.  The kids get a great kick out of canning and making their own pickles.

Garlicky Dill Pickles:

  • 8 lbs. pickling cucumbers 3-4 inches long
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 12 cups water
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 16 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 8 heads fresh dill

Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink  with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar’s rims of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.

Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

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Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

As a child I loved to make these funny face toasted cheese sandwiches. They are often forgotten in my house until the mood strikes me. My kids were so pleased to not only make their own dinner but to play with their food as well.

We arrived home late last night to no dinner plans.  I offered the idea of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  This led me to the idea of Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches.  We had everything and most people do.  Even not making a face this is a tasty sandwich.   I’m not sure if it is tasty because this is a comfort food or actually good.

The possibilities are endless with these sandwiches.  As a child it was always an onion smile, olive eyes, and thinly sliced dill pickle nose.  We worked with what we had and to each person’s taste.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches:

  • sandwich bread, square bread works best
  • ketchup
  • medium cheddar or Colby jack cheese, sliced
  • onion, thinly sliced
  • olives, sliced
  • salami or pepperoni
  • bread and butter or dill pickles
  • Mrs.Dash or Italian seasoning, optional

Place a slice of bread on a baking sheet.  Spread about 1 Tbs of ketchup per piece of bread.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or Mrs.Dash if desired.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Top with sliced cheese and decorate with vegetables.

Broil sandwiches until cheese is melted and hot.

Great served just as a sandwich or with tomato soup.

Funny Face Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Best Bread and Butter Pickles

My husband’s family loves bread and butter pickles.  I remember Mr.Picky telling me how much he likes them, personally I am a dill pickle girl.  In fact I thought I hated bread and butter pickles, as it turns out it is probably just store-bought ones I dislike so much.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles
Last year I had canned dill pickles and dill beans, amongst numerous other things.  I thought I was through with canning when my grandmother gave me one large cucumber after the other.  The cucumbers were nice slicer cucumbers but I could only eat so much.  I decided I would look up a recipe for bread and butter pickles and give it a whirl.  Bread and Butter Pickles II Recipe – Allrecipes.com had the best ratings so it was the recipe I went with.

This recipe was amazing and not too sweet.  It turns out I do like bread and butter pickles.  I especially love the peppers and onions in the jar as well.  Sometimes we top our sandwiches with the pickles or I will chop up the peppers,onions, and pickles to make a relish.  The relish is particularly wonderful in tuna salad.

Best Bread and Butter Pickles:Best Bread and Butter Pickles

This recipe yields 8 – 1 quart jars

  • 25 cucumbers, sliced
  • 6 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 Tbs ground turmeric

In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and salt. Allow to stand approximately 3 hours.

In a large saucepan, mix the cider vinegar, white sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, whole cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil.

Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture. Stir the mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture. Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to boil.

Transfer to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

Or can in a water bath for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool before storing.

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