pickles, please

My favorite food is pickles.  That's what I say whenever I play those silly icebreaker games when you have to tell people your favorite food as a way of somehow getting to know each other better.  

Pickles.  I love them.  

Growing up, we had a relish tray at every family get-together.  Our relish trays were simple: dill pickles, green olives, black olives.  Occasionally some sweet pickles were thrown in the mix, but they were rarely eaten, especially not by us kids.  No, dill pickles were where it was at.  We'd devour the pickles and most of the olives before the dish ever made its way to the dinner or buffet table.  The dish would then often be refilled with our salty favorites and we would devour them again.

Yes, pickles, I do love them.  

Once I even gave a persuasive speech on pickles...in college...(I thought the class was a joke, and so it was my way of protesting...I'm not sure how effective my protest was, but it definitely made the class more exciting!  Ha!)

Needless to say, I also love making pickles!  I made my own last summer for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the process (a kitchen that smells of vinegar and dill...yum!!!) and the end the result!  I made about 20 pints last summer and I savored them (and somewhat hoarded them) throughout the year.  This year, as has been my mantra, I decided to make more.  

Yes, more pickles, please! 

This past Saturday morning, I pulled myself out of bed (after a 17 hour drive the day before from Texas to Minnesota), and ventured to the farmers' market.  I must say that it's always exciting to ride a bike home from the market with 6 pounds of cucumbers, a very long bunch of dill, and a smattering of other veggies filling my bike basket and a bag hanging on my handle bars.  But, it just feels wrong to go to the market by car, so, alas, I take my bike and look ridiculous...

Saturday afternoon I cleaned and prepped the cukes and then put them in a salt water bath to soak in the fridge for a day.  On Monday morn, I then turned the 6 pounds of summery-goodness into 11 pints of pickles for my basement shelves.  I dare say, one more round of pickle making should get us through the winter!