We have entered the month of August. We are having cool mornings after having hot and humid weather last week. We also had a few storms that took down trees and branches in the area. Son Benjamin mowed the grass last night and also cleared up a lot of branches from our yard. We have lots of trees. The grass looks nice and green, and the rain perks up the gardens.
Today my plans are to can sweet dill pickles. I use Palace King cucumbers and grow my own dill so it’s easy to make them. Last week we canned 14 quarts for daughter Elizabeth while helping her. We also use the Palace King cucumber for fresh eating. It has a rougher skin, but I just scrape it and then slice them. Or sometimes I peel them for cucumber salad. They stay very crisp when canning them. I usually serve this kind when we host church services.
Today, daughters Lovina and Verena are assisting Elizabeth with last-minute jobs that need to be done before they host church services on Sunday. Lovina left last night and spent the night at Verena’s house. Daughter Loretta and her son Denzel are here. Denzel is starting to walk. When he wants to go somewhere fast, he crawls because he still thinks it’s faster than walking. Right now he’s sitting beside me looking at a book. He is taking an interest in books now. Of course, we only give him the cardboard types because he loves to tear up paper. When he gets ahold of a newspaper, there isn’t much left of it when he gets done with it.
Last night’s supper was brought in for us, and also for Dustin and Loretta. This is the third meal brought to us from church families. Our bishop’s wife passed out slips of paper to our church families or whoever wanted to help with a date on it to bring some in to Dustin and us. She told me that every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for several months the meals will be brought in. This is just so thoughtful! We really appreciate it. We cannot be thankful enough for our church families that show support and are willing to help out each other. The meals have been really delicious as well. It will give me some more time in the weeks ahead to help out Loretta.
Monday, I took son Kevin to get his stitches removed. It seems to be healing well. The doctor did a good job to put the stitches close to the eyebrows to help hide the scar.
I can smell freshly cut hay from the field beside us. Dustin also has hay cut that needs to be put in most likely today or tomorrow. We have put our hayfield into pasture for our horses and were buying hay. Benjamin has two horses, Joseph has two horses, and Joe and I have one horse and a colt and our pony, Stormy. Joe wants to get some beef calves to raise for our own use.
I need to get started with the pickles. My work won’t get done with me sitting here!
I will share the pickle recipe I will use today. May God bless you all!
Sweet Dill Pickles
Pickling cucumbers, sliced (enough to fill 3 quarts)
2 cups vinegar (I use white vinegar)
2 cups water
3 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons salt (I use a canning and pickling salt)
4 cloves garlic (per quart)
2 dill weed heads, or 1 teaspoon dill weed seeds (per quart)
Pinch alum (per quart)
This recipe will make about 3 quarts. Place sliced cucumbers, dill, garlic, and alum into quart jars. Heat vinegar and water until hot, then add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Pour liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace above the top level of the brine. Cover jars with lids and bands and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes.
Note: Canning times are subject to change according to USDA regulations. Check your county extension office
Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Because Lovina is Old Order Amish, she does not have email or a telephone in her home. Lovina does not respond to comments on this website, if you would like to contact her directly, click here.