Cute Lil' Boots & Pretty, Pretty Pickles

Oh. My. God. I can't even handle it. Look at these little tiny boots!!! They are so cute, are they not? They were my husbands. When he was a wee babe. The other day during canning, my mother in law broke out these boots.

It was really cute how she did it....she had come across them and she wanted to show them to me..."for incentive." Now, normally, I would say that this was fighting dirty. We all know I am ambivalent about parenthood. But this was not at all taken wrongly by me. In fact, you know what it did?

It melted my little ice heart.

It made me think about little tiny husband men....little tiny men in boots. Or little cowgirls. It made me want to get a baby. Maybe not have one...but at least get one.

Okay, gave me the warm and fuzzies. Why is this so hard for me to admit? It gives me hives. Fuzzy hives.

Anyway, I wanted to--nay, had to--share these little cowboy boots with you. Because they make me  fuzzy and hivey and stuff.

Also? We made pickles. And we were all but pouring our brine on our pickles when my mother-in-law said, "Look at these pretty, pretty pickles!" She was so right. We ordered the special vintage blue Ball jars this season, and our pickles were on point! We got a TON of cucumbers from our farmer that day, and made an astounding 25 jars of refrigerator pickles.

Refrigerator pickles are my favorite because they retain their CRUNCH and have great flavor. And they are fast. I love me a no fuss pickle. We made a bunch of varieties that day.... Old Bay Pickles, Extra Spicy Pickles, Classic Dill pickles....and my personal favorite, Italian Dill Pickles!!!!!

This is a look at the wonderful herbs and spices spicing up our Italian pickles!!! Too bad you can't smell this picture because they smelled as good as they look. I've modified this recipe so that you don't have to make 25 jars. Just in case your pickle addiction isn't as palpable as mine. 

Italian Refrigerator Pickles 

Time: 30 minutes, tops | Makes 3 pints | Difficulty: Easy! 
You Will Need:

3 pint jars with lids and bands, sanitized
3 large cucumbers, sliced to fit the jars
3 leaves fresh basil (chopped)
several leaves fresh oregano
dried dill (a pinch in each jar)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced (one per jar)
6 coriander seeds (2 per jar)
a pinch of crushed red pepper in each jar
a few whole peppercorns per jar
a dollop of diced green peppers per jar (optional)

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons kosher salt


Sanitize your jars, bands and lids.

In a medium saucepan combine your vinegars, water and kosher salt. Allow that to come to a boil. (This is your brine!)

While your brine is coming to a boil, slice the cucumbers lengthwise so that they fit easily into the jars. You want to leave about a half of an inch of headspace in the jar.

Add your herbs and spices to the jars right on top of those cucumbers. It's going to be smelling pretty good, so take a whiff. Life is good.

Pour the hot brine into the jars, carefully, leaving that 1/2 inch headspace at the top.

Secure the lids and bands on the jars and leave them to sit until they reach room temperature. Once at room temp, place they jars in the refrigerator. Let them sit at least a couple days before you open them up. If you can control yourself (which, I usually can't) try to wait a week.

Enjoy the pickles of your labor!!!

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