Dill Pickles

It’s now the end of July and the garden is in full force!  Especially the cucumbers, okra, eggplant and squash.

Every pantry should have some pickles tucked away as special treat.  Here is my favorite dill pickle brine recipe.  This is a very versatile recipe that can be used with beans (dilly beans), okra, squash, eggplant and especially cucumbers, just replace the cucumber spears with beans, okra or squash.

Ingredients (Makes 8 pints):

  • 4 pounds of pickling cucmbers
  • 8 heads of fresh dill
  • 8 cleaned cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar (canning grade)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare your pint jars for canning (wash/sterilize).
  2. Prepare your water bath canner.
  3. Slice your cucumbers into spears that fit into pint jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
    1. For Okra, slice off the stems, leave the caps, and slice off the tip of the bottom.
    2. For dilly beans, remove the top stem area and the tip at the bottom.
    3. For squash slice like you would cucumbers.
    4. For eggplant, slice into rounds or into strips, skin on.
  4. Pack each jar tightly.
  5. Add one clove of garlic and one head of dill in each jar.
  6. Add in your red pepper flakes if you choose to have spicy.
  7. In a large pot combine your vinegar, water, mustard seeds and salt and bring to a boil.
  8. Pour hot liquid into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
  9. Clean the mouth of each jar, placing on the lids and rings.  Make sure your rings are tight, but not like Hercules tight.
  10. Place in your water bath canner and process for 10 minutes AFTER your water bath canner reaches a full boil.  (Please refer to your canner’s directions for best results).
  11. Remove and cool, they will POP when sealed.
  12. It’s best to leave sitting for 12-24 hours before moving into storage.
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Dill pickles

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

 

Meal-Prepping: Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

The month of July has been a very busy month.  Our class unfortunately was cancelled due to everyones schedules. But I wanted to make sure these very simple and yummy recipes got in your hands.

The same ingredients can be used for both the chicken or the eggplant parmesan. Substitute one for the other.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 frozen lg boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 medium eggplant sliced thick.
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (OR 2 cups of rice krispies)
  •  1 gallon bag
  •   1 quart bags

Directions:

  1. Write the name of your recipe on the gallon bag as well as cook 8 hrs low.
  2. On the small bag write ‘Toppings’.
  3. Put your bread crumbs or crushed rice crispies in the small bag, add your Parmesan cheese and squish it through. If you want mozzarella cheese add it in this bag as well.
  4. Seal pushing out all air and set aside.
  5. Put your frozen chicken 🐔 or sliced eggplant in the big bag.
  6. I also will sprinkle fruit fresh or a little lemon juice on the eggplant to prevent Browning.
  7. Now add in your basil, garlic, pepper, olive oil and tomatoes over your chicken.
  8. Carefully add your topping bag on top.
  9. Seal pushing out the air.
  10. Put in the freezer.

Day before cooking, that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking. 

  1. Carefully remove topping bag, set aside.
  2. Dump contents of the large bag into your Crock-Pot. I use my casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.
  3. Evenly spread everything out.
  4. Sprinkle the contents of the topping bag over top.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
  6. NOTE: You can also wait to put your toppings on about an hour before serving.
  7. Serve over pasta if you like.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice