Sunday, October 14, 2012


While I was growing up my Grandma and Grandpa had a large garden. They would can or freeze the harvest. They would cut the corn off the cob and make creamed corn and freeze it. They would freeze raspberries whole and also make raspberry jam. They also made refrigerator  pickles, watermelon pickles, and pickled beets. I guess I just took this for granted but also maybe figured this was  something grandparents did.

Gramma's Refrigerator Pickles
Before we moved into the Plummer House we had a small garden in our backyard. I grew  just enough lettuce, green pepper, onions, and tomatoes to go out and pick out salad ingredients for dinner. I also made jars of salsa which we ate almost immediately. I didn't start canning or freezing, however. Guess it was still in the back of my mind that it was a "grandparent thing". Now I'm a grandparent, and  I've been thinking about the canning and freezing that they did. And I'm wondering how they did it! It seems like a lot of work! So I put it off until this year when my brother came with a basket load of pickling cucumbers.  He also kind of blew my theory that it was a "grandparent thing" because he's been making pickles for as long as I can remember. Obviously my mind chose to conveniently "forget" that. So this year I looked up my Gramma's  ( Gwen ) refrigerator pickle recipe and I put up quite a few jars. It was amazingly easy! I hadn't grown the cukes myself but that was OK. They were the best pickles I've had since I ate Gramma's pickles.

On a side note here, I had saved all my Gramma's recipes  which were written on envelopes, the back of checks, cardboard, and any other piece of paper she could find. She also wrote down the name of the person she got it from, or just  "lady in red house" or "Mayor's wife" and then often a commentary about what she thought about the recipe. The funny thing is that on some of the recipes she wrote down negative comments like "This is not good" or " Don't make this again". Not sure why she even kept those! Here's a picture of my Gramma who was always as happy as she is in this photo! She was always lots of fun and laughed a lot! I have the BEST memories of her!

 Back to the pickle making...Making my jars of pickles was a simple start but next year I'm going to try canning along with making pickles.  I don't know if it's the economy, wanting to be more frugal, or just enjoying the process of making things homemade, but gardening, canning, and freezing is growing in popularity. I'm just a bit late to the party. If you haven't started canning but would like to, making these simple pickles is an easy way to start. The fun part is giving them away to friends and as hostess gifts.

Today I am thankful for my Grandma! ; )

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