Time to Make the Pickles

by CountryThreads on August 8, 2017

Last week I asked Rick how the cucumbers were doing and he said there were lots of blossoms but no cukes.  Hmmm, I decided I’d better check it out myself last Sunday.  Does this look like no cukes to you?


The cukes are now huge!  Too big for bread and butter pickles so I had to make hot dog relish which meant grinding everything.  Come to think of it that was not a bad idea since I have that new powerful grinder for the dog food.  Off to the store.  My recipe comes from my mom’s oldest sister and it calls for two hot red peppers.


On the package of hot peppers in tiny print it says to handle with gloves.  I didn’t read that until too late.  My fingers and hands are burning up!  I can’t imagine if it had been in my mouth.  I threw the stems and the rest in the trash.  I didn’t want the chickens to even have them.  I have made this relish years ago but don’t remember it being hot.  Here it is ready to cook.


We sampled some last night at supper and honestly I think I’ll have to blend it with some sweet relish from the store.  It’s just too hot!  Then I think it will be perfect.  And I made two batches!

On to the smaller cukes and the bread and butter pickles, my favorites.  My garden onions were the perfect size for slicing in these pickles – about quarter to fifty cent  size.  When Grandma made these, I was always thrilled to find a complete onion slice!  So I did the same thing.  Here they are all sliced and soaking.


The kitchen smelled heavenly!  On to cooking with the turmeric and the spices – look at that lovely color!


So I ended up with 10 pints of hot dog relish and 7 pints of bread and butter pickles.  I’m working on my Christmas list.  I haven’t canned in years and it’s actually kinda fun.  I love canning peach sauce but finding nice fresh peaches is hard so I haven’t done it for years.  We always freeze corn – Rick does most of it.  All I do is cook it in the oven and package it,


Just a quick update on the hailstorm.  Here is a cornfield that was hit hard.  It’s now just a bare field.


Here’s one of my succulents with thick fleshy leaves that really took a beating.  I think it will survive but with scars.


Many comments about the collie in the picture yet I never see a collie these days.  Could it be because Lassie isn’t on TV any more?  Is that why so many of us had collies in the 50’s and 60’s?  I’ll be it is!  I think the picture is just simply wonderful!

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Boutilier August 8, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for posting again Mary. I miss all your pictures of your animals. sorry there are nasty people out there. Nothing like homemade pickles. I have been cooking and freezing summer squash, peppers, onions with some mushrooms. During the winter I make soup adding the squash and use some as a side dish. Carolyn B Shenandoah Valley VA

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Dorie Esquivel August 8, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Will you share relish recipe? And pickles? I’ve been making dill spears here in Albuquerque! So sad about storm damage.

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Susan Sundermeyer August 8, 2017 at 8:48 pm

I LOVE ❤️ Bread and Butter pickles! My aunt used to make them. What a wonderful Christmas gift! Have you ever made Hot Pepper Jelly? I fell in love with that the first time I tried it.

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CountryThreads August 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Susan – yes, I love hot pepper jelly but my peppers failed this year.

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Betty Klosterman August 8, 2017 at 8:49 pm

I used to make bread & butter pickles, but I had to buy everything. Now we just buy them in the store.
Was the farmer able to use the hailed out soy beans for feed? Or the corn?
Our hot spell finally let up, at least for awhile. Now we can feel almost human. The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in progress and they are enjoying the cooler weather. The last I heard was about 550,000 bikers riding all over the beautiful Black Hills and having lots of fun.

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CountryThreads August 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Betty – some of the corn could be used by those farmers with livestock but the beans were simply gone. Now that’s a lot of bikes!

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Rhodylvr August 8, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Ah, the burning fingers from hot peppers! Sticking them in milk helps sometimes. I was at my daughter’s in New Mexico when this happened to me, finally went to bed with my hands on an ice pack! It took about 8 hours to go away. Hope yours are better.

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Sherry Whalen August 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Hi Mary, a week ago I picked my 3 first not very big cukes, and this week we are loaded up! They came on fast. Last night I spied my first tomato with a slight tinge of red – tomorrow I will be able to pick 2 red tomatoes. Time to get the jars out!

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Martha Engstler August 8, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Wish I could send you peaches from Adams County, Pennsylvania. They are in full swing and so good. It’s hard to eat them fast enough. So glad to see your blog with pictures of your canning. It all looks yummy. Thank you for sharing.

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Melody August 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

So glad to see you back. Missed reading about things going on. Was always interesting and uplifting. Update on the fire. Made it through the sewing stuff. Kept most of the kits, but not any of the not kitted fabric. Working up to other things. Today was a few phos that were in the bedroom. A lot of good reminancing. Want to have storage thing done by mid September so can bring back rest of furniture from other storage. Then everything in one place and that will stay till spring and unsmoked there. So glad to have you back

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Katie Hayse August 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

My daughter, Shaun, whose husband is quite a gardener, has canned and canned all kinds of pickles. I don’t think she will have to can any for years! I haven’t gardened much lately. I hated it when I was teaching because everything came ready to do just as school was starting. And, of course, I always had a big garden. There was a wonderful lady that lived a few houses away from me, who planted by the moon. We were pretty poor, Pres was going to graduate school, so she would literally drag me out of the house to plant my garden. Other than meat, we lived off that garden all year. I sure miss her.

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Donna August 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm

Mary your soaking cukes look yummy. My favorite are cukes with vinegar, sugar & something else. Not a pickle just a way to eat cukes. Can you tell I don’t can, etc? 🤣

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mary margaret August 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm

My husband was the Gardner and did the canning. He used do a relish that was hot that had everything in it from the garden. He forgot one year to wear gloves on the hot peppers found out way real quick when he went to bathroom! Me I canned the stuff he want to can like green tomatoes reliesh, mincment,jams. He had a very green thumb where as me a black thumb! Got to a ritual with our cat, in giving him lecture of not peeing n poo in his garden! The cat did it anyway! He did pickle too! Bread n butter n dill pickles! Have fun!

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Rainie August 8, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Is there anything you can’t do???

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Jean Elliott August 8, 2017 at 9:54 pm

Was there a hailstorm after the big windstorm you had? Or maybe it all happened together. I miss canning and making pickles. I used to make the sweet pickles you had to soak for eleven days…had to be drained every day. I still have the crocks I used…..that was 45 years ago! Time flies!

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CountryThreads August 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm

Jean – it all happened on July 10

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Jean Elliott August 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm

Okay, thanks. Terrible.

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Sue Davis August 8, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Hi Mary,
Well more memories! When I was a kid we lived in Westmont Ill, my Mom would make dill pickles from her garden and put them in a crock to do their thing. She would put the crock on the back side of the claw foot bath tub. I remember coming in with roller skates and a roller skate key on a string around my neck to use the potty. Sitting there on the potty was an excuse because we could reach the crock and eat pickles. I don’t know if my mom ever knew we were eating all her pickles. But she sure knew it when she went to put them up in the jars. Not many where left. Thanks to her three kids and friends!!! Blessings for a good nights rest. 🐩❤️

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Sue Davis August 8, 2017 at 10:22 pm

Trust thinking Mary, you might want to get Rick some new glasses😂😂😂😂

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Sue Davis August 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Just thinking…

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Marcia R August 8, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Remember to try milk the next time for a skin reaction. Splash some on; it generally calms the reaction. Water does not.

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CountryThreads August 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Marcia R – I can attest to the fact that water does not! Wow!

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Debbie Miller August 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm

I used to make several kinds of pickles-bread and butter, along with green tomato and also squash. My main thing to make is chow-chow. It uses all the garden veggies and everyone loves. I steer clear of hot peppers though.

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San August 8, 2017 at 10:53 pm

What a lovely picture of home canned goodness! So glad you didn’t get hot pepper in your eye. Whew, I did that once.

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Felicia Hamlin August 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm

A dear friend and neighbor, when we lived in Northern MN, taught me to can. My husband had planted a big garden and I went to town. I canned 400 quarts. It was insane! Needles to say I didn’t do much the year after or after and garden shrunk. My neighbor used to make green pickles and she taught me, seven days to make them, but they were good.

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CountryThreads August 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Felicia – I love those sweet pickles but haven’t gone to that much work in years and I think I’ll pass this year, too. Ha!

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Paula (Texas) August 8, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Just wondering since I’m new to vegetable gardening this year. How many cucumber vines do you need in order to get that many cucumbers the same size? I have four vines, but not many cucumbers the same size at the same time.

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Mary August 9, 2017 at 1:00 am

Many years ago my sister-in-law introduced us to some delicious hot pickles so the following summer my mom and I used her recipe and made a few batches. Our fingers burned and burned, just so much from cutting up the peppers. Of course, we tried all sorts of first aid treatments to no avail. We went to bed and tried to get to sleep with these hurting fingers. We couldn’t imagine how hot the pickles would be. On Thanksgiving we opened a jar and there was no hotness at all. We tried opening other jars and they were all flat. No hotness at all. I wonder if your relish will retain the heat. I hope it does!

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Fiona at Ice Bear Quilts August 9, 2017 at 3:14 am

Hi Mary,
Your pickle look great! I have been making jam/jelly from our own plums, so the kitchen smells very sweet and fruity.

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CountryThreads August 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Fiona – my very favorite jam is plum sunshine that I used to make when my neighbor had many plum trees. How I miss those old trees!

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Norma August 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

Hi Mary, I understand what you mean about the hot peppers burning your hands. I thought soaking my hands in baking soda water helped. My favorite hotdog relish is made with green tomatoes. I can send recipe if someone wants it. I had my grandkids help make applesauce the other day. We had a great time and they love the sauce. It is very inexpensive if you can pick up apples from the ground or find a tree where you can pick. The apples do not have to be perfect.

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Kate Schloemer August 9, 2017 at 7:04 am

Your relish looks so good. My cucumbers didn’t come up. Planted them three times and all of a sudden a plant started. So hope just a few to eat.
I also cook my dog’s their food. Have done it for 3 years. So much better for them.
Love hearing from you and what you have been up to. Please continue… Have a great week. Kate

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Paula August 9, 2017 at 7:04 am

I love to can too…..please tell me what peach sauce is and what it is used on. Thanks Paula in KY

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CountryThreads August 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Paula – we called peach sauce peach halves in a sugar water syrup that was canned and everybody did this with pears and bing cherries, too.

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Carolyn Van Petten August 9, 2017 at 7:41 am

Wow, you never stop–you are amazing. Any chance that you would share your Bread and Butter Pickle recipe? It all looks so good!

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Becky T August 9, 2017 at 9:25 am

On the pepper front.
I hope the pepper pain is gone by now. But in case there is ever a net time. Wash your hands with buttermilk. It can make a big difference. Another recommended first aid for pepper pain is Preparation H. Yep that is what the local extension office told me.

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Sue Smith August 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

Preparation H? Wow, good to know. What you learn on Mary’s blog. lol I hope I can remember that next time I get a pepper burn. I still have salsa to make this summer.
I have been making refrigerator dills. I prepare the brine and put it in a 1/2 gal jar in the fridge. Then I pick the smallish cucs as they get to the size I like, remove the blossom, wash, and stick in the jar along with dill once in awhile, until the jar is full. Best dills ever and so easy for this old lady. I still have bread and butters to make, too. Mary…..yours look so good.
I try to look my vines over really good, but still they can get away from me. One hid for days and when I finally found it, it looked like your biggies.

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Launa August 9, 2017 at 11:32 am

My aunt made Lazy Housewife Dills in a huge crock. She had tongs hanging near and my cousin and I loved to take one each on our way out to roller skate. I don’t have her recipe, but at a family reunion I gave her son her recipe for chocolate fudge frosting.

Sad to see the lost corn field, Mary.

So many forest fires burning here in Idaho…we get the smoke inversion up here, but not the ash shown in Pocatello. That fire has burned 53,000 acres.

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CountryThreads August 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Laura – those fires terrify me! What a hopeless feeling it must be to live in the path of a raging fire!

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terry August 9, 2017 at 11:48 am

Whoa. Just got back from a mini vacation and got caught up on your blog and was appalled to read about the problem with the nasty comments. So sad that some folk feel the need to be mean – seems like there is more of this going on. Sadly the internet gives them the anonymous platform they hide behind. Thank goodness there is the delete button and the fact that you hopefully shame them by exposing them. Had to get that off my mind.

On a brighter note luv, luv your blog and reading about the farm, your animals and your quilts. I so envy your farm life as I live in the city. You are so generous with your time – always lending a helpful hand when needed. Please don’t stop blogging as you take me away to another life on the farm.

Terry in So. Calif.

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Karen August 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Nice to see Rox it the first photo. I hope she is still enjoying going “to work” every day.

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Linda Baker August 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm

I’m having the same problem with pickles-I swear you turn your back and the darn things double and triple in amount! My uncle John used to make vats and vats of dill pickles. When you went in his garage, there they were, and they smelled wonderful. He used to sell them to the bars in Muskegon. Of course, he and my cousin had to have a drink before they left each bar, so you can imagine how that went, lol.

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Sandy August 10, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I enjoyed seeing all your canning. Regarding the cucumber story, I heard this quote: “Just because a man says it’s not there, it isn’t always true…..!” I believe that.
Regarding your search for good peaches, you may have not met Darwin Luedtke from Garner. Many times a summer he meets a truck straight from the Missouri peach orchards and brings back pickup loads of peaches. I’ve never had a bad Missouri peach. Unfortunately, I think this year’s harvest has ended.

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