Sunday, July 7, 2013


It's always nice to visit friends who happen to have a robust garden. On Saturday, as we sat around eating homemade nachos and playing with the kids, I offered to help pick some beans and cucumbers - their vines were overflowing, and they're about to go out of town. I happen to enjoy harvesting; there's something thrilling about the hunt for fresh fruits and veggies, eating some straight off the vine and thinking about what you might like to do with the rest. And they were happy to have the help.

We picked what I thought was just an insane amount of beans (green and purple) and cucumbers, but it turns out that this is an average harvest for them, and they get this much booty every 7-10 days!
The harvest - hand pictured for scale.
We filled that silver bucket with beans three times.
All in all, it was approximately 1 bajillion pounds of beans.
That's a scientific measurement.
My goodness. Insane. And so delicious.
Beautiful tomato for good measure.
What to do with all these beans and cukes? I'm a bit of a pickle fiend, but somehow I've never actually made my own. Rather silly, really. Anyway, I couldn't get the idea of pickling out of my head, so I looked up a recipe, bought some Ball jars, picked up some spices, and got to work.

One jar of cucumbers, one jar of green beans, three jars
of purple beans. Varying spice levels.
Gotta label your jars, right?
For the purple beans, I did three different levels of salt: one followed the recipe, one used significantly less, and one was half-full-salt and half-less-salt. This was sort of by accident at first (I really need some reading glasses for reading recipes on my phone, I swear), but I decided to roll with it rather than making them all according to the recipe. It's an experiment, right?

Cucumbers and green beans...looking pretty
un-pickled at this point.
The purple beans are so dark that it's hard
to see them. Eventually, they'll lose their
deep color completely and turn greenish brown.
No special canning equipment, no boiling the jars to seal them (these aren't shelf-stable and have to be stored in the fridge after they're done fermenting). So easy. Supposedly in about 3 days or so, these should be all kinds of pickled goodness. If this works? Man, do I have a summer full of pickling ahead of me!

And a little bonus organization-gasm for all you organization freaks like me out there...

LOOK AT MY FRIENDS' FREAKING AWESOME GARAGE (hipster filters optional)! This is all the husband's territory, and he's got quite a sweet system going on there, what with the pegboard for all the tools and the shelves with organized plastic bins. It's hard to see, but there's a library card catalog screwed into the workbench to hold screws and whatnot. Super cool (they're both teachers). He even has a few bunches of shallots hanging from the ceiling to dry right now. Sigh. So nice. I think he's my spirit animal. 

I'm curious to hear about your pickling adventures. Have you pickled? Do you like pickles?


  1. I want to do some pickling this summer. Hoping my cukes finally produce something (last 2 years, nothing) and we'll see what else. I pickle red onions just about every week for salads, burger toppings, whatever else they sound good on. Super quick and easy and delish.

  2. Ooh! Tell me more! What kind of pickling do you do? Quick/fridge pickles? Sealed ones that are shelf-stable? What's your recipe? I'm super into this now, in case you can't tell.

  3. So easy!
    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup water
    Bring to a boil and shut off
    Add about 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
    Allow to cool to room temp
    I just put them in a container in the fridge. They last about 2 weeks, though I don't think I've ever had them that long.

  4. I really like fresh pickled. that is tomato (rost)+red chille (as your choice with friend in mustard Oil) green fingure + ginger + garlic , then after graner, (put some salt) that will be grate pickle (put some little fresh lemon). now rady,