Becoming Martha Stewart… sans jail time.

6 10 2010

Or maybe Rachel Ray?

Lately, I’ve been on this spree of making my own things. Like dill pickles. And kahlua.

Amazingly enough, both endeavors were successful.

The pickle fiasco started with Sharon from Kyllo’s, one of my favorite people on the planet. She has been such a positive, encouraging force in my stateside life. She was talking with some people we work(ed) with about how she had this recipe for dill pickles and it was really delicious. So, being curious and always up to try something new, I ask for the recipe. What I don’t expect is to get all the secret family tricks for crispy pickles and homemade cookies while I’m at it! Yum!

I had to wait a couple weeks to try to make the cucumbers into pickles since most farms had had a pretty tough summer with growing cucumbers. Apparently there was high demand with a little supply. I finally got an order from Farmer John’s Produce in McMinnville. 25 lbs of little cucumbers for $29. Stopped at Bi-mart for quart jars ( I needed about 24 for the whole 25 lbs.) and to grab some pickling salt. Apparently everybody had the same idea, because they were sold out of salt. Weird. Safeway? Nope. Winco? Strike 3. The lady at Winco was really nice and told me that she “knew for a fact” that Albertsons had it, so I drove back and got it. Albertsons is right across the street from Bi-mart. Whoops.

I was supposed to leave Lincoln City a lot earlier to get to Mychaela’s place, but one thing after another led to me getting a late start. Donald and I were going camping at Waldo Lake, so we needed to get out of town at a reasonable hour to make the ~4 hour drive. Yet another whoops.

Please take note- first time pickles aren’t exactly a “sure, I can be done in an hour” type thing when you’re doing it by yourself. I did 25 lbs in about 2.

Make sure you have lots of open windows, because when I came back to Mychaela’s almost a week later, it still reeked of dill, garlic and apple cider vinegar. Just saying.

And for the completely different flavor/purpose — We made Kahlua! Super easy recipe made from instant coffee, sugar, water, vanilla and vodka. Piece of cake. We got the recipe from Mychaela’s Aunt Tiffany, who supplied us (me indirectly…) with tasty goodness for Christmas a couple times.

water, sugar, instant coffee, vanilla and vodka.

Basically, you make a simple syrup from the water and sugar, just with instant coffee. I’ve heard of people making the syrup using brewed coffee instead of using plain water and instant… I’ll have to try that next time. Once it has gently-boiled for an hour, let it cool to room temp, add vanilla and vodka, mix for a few and then pour the mixture into sealable containers. We used these cool jars from Kitchen Caboodle, which were kind of expensive, so I don’t know if we’ll do that again… we might have to require a deposit on those containers since we’re giving them out as Christmas gifts. If you want a re-fill for next year, bring the jar back! haha.

sweetest strong instant coffee you'll ever not want to drink before it's finished mixing. Trust me, just wait.

The jars got sealed and washed off, and now they’re in the cupboard, waiting until Christmas. Aunt Tiffany said that they needed to sit at least a month, so we’re going to wait at least until Thanksgiving to sample the amazingness. The longer it brews the better. Get ready for some RAD Christmas gifts this year! Pickles and Kahlua!

Once it's cooled, mix it all together and then put it in the jars!

Homemade Kahlua!

yum. Iain thinks that this will be going into our coffee every morning. Maybe I'll send him some so he can do the same šŸ™‚

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