Sunday, July 18, 2010

I’m in a pickle

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="pickling cucumbers"]pickling cucumbers[/caption]

Last week I was sitting at a business meeting at a newly re-opened restaurant enjoying a veggie sandwich when I took a bite of what I thought was a dill pickle. My lunch companion noticed that I really didn't care for a bread and butter pickle cut up to look like a dill pickle.

"YUCK!" I said as I spit the pickle out. Not my finest moment but this gave me the opportunity to talk about my love of dill pickles, especially my Grandma's homemade pickles. My Grandma used to spend the summers canning veggies and sauce and making homemade jams. Each summer she'd make her famous dill pickles and they'd be all eaten up by the end of the week!

When I moved from Nebraska, I knew I would miss those pickles and fortunately for me, my 86 year old Grandma found an easy recipe  I could make without too much fuss. She calls them "Polish Sun Dill Pickles." Yes, you read that right, SUN PICKLES.

First, get yourself a large glass jar ... like the one you use to make sun tea with. Now, when I bought my sun tea jar, my husband was puzzled ... "you don't drink tea?" My response, "SUN PICKLES." He scratched his head last summer when I told him and was a little worried about my state of mind.

Wash your pickling cucumbers and place them in a jar with half a head of garlic and 6 springs of dill. I don't usually measure how many pounds I buy as I usually take the sun tea jar with me and fill it up at the store and then put them in a baggy.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="299" caption="Yes, that is a sun tea jar full of pickles"]Yes, that is a sun tea jar full of pickles[/caption]

Mix together water, vinegar, 1/2 cup of salt (I used kosher salt) and alum powder and pour over the cucumbers. Put in the sun for 48 hours.  Yes, they are THAT EASY.

Now, when they are done, I put them in jars with the pickle juice and store in the frig. My Grandma was telling me that I don't need to put them in the refrigerator but I just do it to be on the safe side.


Polish Sun Pickles

6 1/2 c. water
3 1/4 c. white vinegar
4-6 sprigs dill
1/2 c. salt
1/2 head of garlic
1 tsp. alum powder

Wash cubes and put in large sun tea jar. Mix above ingredients and put int0 jar. Set in sun for 2 days.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="299" caption="Sun pickles chillin'"]Sun pickles chillin'[/caption]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And my 6 pound baby is now 2!

Where did the time go? My child turned 2 almost two months ago and I'm finally writing about it. Life has been hectic so give me the "bad mom of the year" award now. Just get it over with!

[caption id="attachment_820" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Someone really likes the Thomas the Train"]Ben's cake[/caption]

I put a lot of thought into what I wanted his party to be like. The little monkey is really into Thomas the Train and as luck would have it, a local grocery store had the makings for a Thomas cake. I ordered party favors and cute invites and sent them out to my friends. If you live in Oregon, you know that May's weather was cold and rainy and I hoped and prayed for no rain or snow for that matter. I told friends, "if it's raining at 3:30, the party is at my house." Definitely didn't have rain but it was definitely not sunny. My friends are troppers and gathered at the park and showered my child with fun fabulous gifts. We also saved the gifts relatives sent in the mail for the party. He was pretty into the first couple of gifts but after that, my husband had to open the rest. You can see the photos from the party over here.

Two has been relatively easy for us. Lil B is talking more and more each day and it's really helped that we switched him to a pre-school rather than daycare setting.When we can understand each other, it's all smiles and unicorns. When we can't, well, I sit on the floor trying to figure out what he actually wants. Yesterday he wanted juice and not milk in his Lightening McQueen sippy cup. Oy!

We have three big things coming up in our house:

  1. breaking the bottle habit

  2. breaking the binkie habit

  3. the move from crib to toddler bed

[caption id="attachment_821" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Cake and trains!"]Cake and trains![/caption]

I'll be better about documenting those adventure here. I promise!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cheap things to do around Central Oregon

We hardly drive to Redmond, OR for fun because there are plenty of fun things to do in Bend so why drive to Redmond? Well, when we heard they had a cool fountain kids could stay cool from the hot sun we decided we had to drive up and see it. And it was WORTH THE DRIVE as you can see in this cute video.