Sunday, August 15, 2010

Super Easy 24-hour Speecy-Spicy Pickled items!

Just pickled the Speecy-Spicy carrots and greenbeans:
I took a recipe from and modified it a few times to come up with this:

2-Cup Canning Jar
Carrots or beans or cucumbers to fill the jar loosely (cut the vegetables into whatever you want your pickle to look like - spears, slices, whatever)
1 Cup Water
1 Cup White Vinegar (the cheap-o cleaning kind)
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped in half
1 Jalepeno Pepper, top removed, chopped in half
2 Big sprigs Fresh Dill
1 Tbsp Peppercorns

Blanch the carrots and beans (don't blanch cucumbers) by boiling them in water for two minutes, then taking them out and dunking them quickly into an ice-bath.

Put the carrots beans or cucumbers in the canning jar with
The Garlic, Jalepeno Pepper, Dill and Peppercorns

Bring the Water, Vinegar, Salt and Sugar to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar and salt
Let it boil for two minutes

Pour (carefully, HOT!), into the canning jar filled with veggies.

Put the top on, throw it in the fridge, test it 24 hours later (or sooner if you can't wait).  Tastes best after 24 hours.

In your fridge they can last 30 days (but they won't be around that long).  You can use a canning method for homemade pickels so they can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 year at

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Digging in and Setting Up - Square Foot Method

I visited the local Menards (hardward store) and picked up some hot pink mason's line to start marking out the garden.  I'm going to stick closer to Square Foot Gardening principals regarding plant spacing so I want to be more accurate with my seed placement.  What is Square Foot Gardening?  Mel Bartholomew, the originator of the idea explains it:

"a system of laying out, planting, and maintaining a productive, attractive garden in any amount of space.  The garden is based on a grid of 1-foot by 1-foot squares, with single seeds or plants placed in carefully determined spacings."  Mel goes on to say, "The square foot system lets you make the most of your garden space to conserve the amount of water, soil conditioners, and labor needed to produce a maximum amount of food in that space.  A square foot garden takes only one-fifth the space and work of a conventional single-row garden to produce the same harvest."   

Here are a couple of links to some good Square Foot Gardening websites:

Mel Bartholomew's Site:
Square Foot Gardening Foundation

Also one from Tim Beckman from Indianapolis, Indiana:
Tim's Square Foot Garden

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Started the Garden

Today I just turned in the mulched leaves that I mulched into the garden last fall.  There was a crazy amount of worms, I'm so excited!  I also planted some mesclun lettuce, spinach and romaine lettuce.  I might be too early for the romaine, but I'm still trying it.

Here is a link to Early Spring planting ideas.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Coming up: The GreenNet Green and Growing Fair

GreenNet Green and Growing Fair
April 24th, 2010, 10:00-3:00 at the
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park
Chicago, IL

This is the part I think my kids will like:
Kid's Activities in Children's Garden:
Plant a Pizza Garden to Take Home! 11 am to 3 pm

Grow your own pizza by planting ingredients in a take-home container-basil, tomatoes, green peppers, and more! Also, learn about plant parts and define the parts used in pizza.

Pickle Garden

It's 29 degrees Fahrenheit in Oak Park today but I'm dreaming of warm weather and pickles.  What is your favorite pickling cucumber?  What is your favorite pickle recipe?  I just tasted some (store bought) spicy pickles, delicious!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Seeds are in

At the Home Depot last night, saw that the seed display was in already.  This is my first choice for my 2010 garden!  Pickles!!!!!!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seeds Obsession Starting

I'm starting to get some catalogs of seeds and I'm starting to plan out what I want to put in the garden this year.  The variety is great but also makes for hard decisions.  I'm trying also to figure out how much I want to start from seed, and also what set up I might use for the indoor seed starting.  I'm also trying to be super-cheap about this, as I spent quite a bit last year on the raised gardens.