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Fireflies and Pickles

I grew up in the desert.  In the desert there are no fireflies.  Summer evenings in the desert are filled with croaking toads, flitting lizards, and skulking cats, but no fireflies.  The first time I saw a firefly was in the front yard of my Aunt Irene’s house in Chicago.  I was at least ten, maybe older.  It was like seeing a leprechaun–a FLASH, then fade away.  So magical.

We have fireflies in Pittsburgh.  Even though we live in the city, the streets get dark enough that I can spend a summer night sitting on my porch, watching the fireflies light up, then fade away.  Each flash is a surprise, they really are real.

Tomorrow is farmshare day, and I was happy to learn from my weekly farmshare email that we’ll be getting a bunch of pickling cucumbers this week. I made this Refrigerator Pickles recipe (graciously provided by the farmshare as well) a few years back, and it really is the best.  The pickles are sweet and just a tiny bit sour, and are perfect for snacking right out of the jar.  The best part is, the recipe is super fast to make and doesn’t take any special skills or equipment (I like the idea of pickling and preserving, but there’s just too much to learn about jarring that it stresses me out).

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

About 1 qt. small pickling cucumbers (8)

15-20 fresh dill sprigs

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 cups of water

1 1/2 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. pickling salt (You can find this in the baking aisle)

1. Cut each cucumber into four spears.  In large bowl, combine cucumbers, dill, onion and garlic.

2. Bring water, vinegar, and salt to boil, stirring just until salt is dissolved.  Pour over cucumber mixture.

3. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.

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