If you’re growing cucumbers in your garden, you’re probably overwhelmed right now.  We are.   But that means one of W’s favorite projects:  homemade pickles!  If you’d like to try it and don’t have any, buy some cucumbers at your local farmer’s market, but ask for pickling cucumbers specifically.  One year we tried another variety and the peels got tough and nasty.  It was pretty sad.  The jars feel like an investment, too, but I bet you have a friend or neighbor who’s got some.  Just ask in your Facebook status!

We follow this recipe.   You have to plan ahead a little bit and soak the cucumbers in an ice bath.

Choosing Cukes from the Ice Bath

Pickling your own cucumbers is an excellent activity for kid participation.  When we do it, each person gets a jar and doles out dill, garlic, and cucumbers.  That way, if you’re concerned about proportion or bites or the process, you can just label the jar for the kid, and you’ll know, later, which jar to serve to company and which might be best staying in the family.

Even Very Little Kids (Like J, Years Ago)Â Can Help

W helps stuff the last cukes (or cuke pieces:  they’re often a little overgrown) in, and then he fills and seals the jars.

Although You Can't Rely on Them Not to Taste

Of course, pickles are an exercise in patience and self-discipline.  We mark our calendars and eat them on the first possible day.  Or sometimes a day or two early.

I'm holding J, and she and M are flanking some of their cousins.

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