Sunday, August 3, 2008

My CSA and Dill Pickles

Aaaaah...Summer's Bounty. This is my fourth year as a member of Kretschmann Farm CSA. Don and Becky Kretschmann have an all-organic farm just minutes from our home here north of Pittsburgh. Not only do they grow fabulous organic produce, but they have to be some of the nicest folks you'd ever meet.

Every Friday afternoon from June through November, I take a drive out to the farm. In just minutes I can be out of suburban Pittsburgh and rolling past cows and corn fields. I pull up past their house and down around the back of the barn where crates of veggies are waiting to be picked up and a kitten or two are waiting to greet you. Business as usual is going on all around - Becky is mowing the grass, Don is busy fixing a drip line or driving the tractor, and their helpers are washing dirt off the lettuce or tending to seedlings in the greenhouse.

Don writes a weekly newsletter and sends it via email to his subscribers. Through these newsletters you'll find the happenings on the farm that week, help in identifying some produce, and, of course, recipes. This week we found out that this is the year of the cucumber...

Well for him, maybe, but not for me in MY garden.

Ben told me he wanted to make pickles this year, so I ordered the pickling cucumber seeds, planted three rows of them and they were doing beautifully... until... some critter took notice and mowed them ALL to the ground! I hope he enjoyed them! The funny thing is, he left everything else untouched (he did sample a few of the sunflowers). Fortunately, the Kretschmanns came through with a surplus of cucumbers AND a recipe for dill pickles in this week's newsletter! Who knew making pickles was so easy? The people at Claussen's won't want anyone to know just how easy it is! But my kids and I will tell you, these are just as good!

Fresh Dill Pickle Spears
from Don and Becky Kretschmann

1. Slice one or two cucumbers into spears and place in a glass quart jar with a few sprigs of fresh dill.
2. Bring to a boil 1/8 cup salt, 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups of water and a sliced clove or two of garlic in a small saucepan.
3. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the cucumbers. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. (To keep the jar from breaking, run hot tap water over the outside of the jar just before filling with hot liquid.)


  1. WHAT!!!!!!!!!!...that's it!!????........maybe I'll have to try some too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hi Deanna,
    Thanks for the tips on getting my sauce thick. I'll have to try it out soon. I did not cut out the seeds -- oops! Lesson learned!
    Also, did you see our cucumber and zucchini fest we had a few days ago? You should swing by and share your link for your dill pickles.
    I think I'm going to make Paella for my next EDF dish. Ever made theirs or another one?



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