just a smidgen

The Art of Dill Pickles

Preserves Pickles B

My earliest memories of anything “pickled”..
were the sparkling gem jars that lined our basement shelves at Claret Street  in Charleswood Heights.
Mom’s pickles were more varied than my simple dills I’ve posted here. She’d have mustards with whole small sweet onions.. jams along with the Dills.
My first attempt at pickling dills last summer was scary, after all, one wouldn’t want to poison family with anything that wasn’t sealed properly:D
But once I had shopped for the massive pot that would hold the jars, the utensils, the jars themselves.. I prepped everything.. lined all the jars up in rows and plunged in.

Nothing could be simpler.. I even messed up one batch and added 4 times the hot spices and they still turned out delicious!
The best part.. was when my kids asked if there were any more of “those pickles”.. months later in the cold of winter we were able to pop open a jar and remember last summer.

Reposted from last summer…

This was reposted as part of this month’s Canadian Food Experience Project!
As we share our collective stories through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity.

The Art of Dill Pickle

A trip to the market yielded these…


and these

one of these

a bouquet of weeds and a bowl of spices

plopped into jars while a brine simmered

pickles wedged and jostled for space

then brine bathed and simmered

finally plucked out… 12 little jar in two straight lines

they left the brine at half past 9…

I was so nervous about opening the first jar of my first ever batch of pickles! My research informed me that some pickles never, er.. pickle. The crux of the problem is that a pickle can, in fact, lack a healthy crunch when chomped on. I’m still not certain why.. perhaps one of you can enlighten me?

The results.. well, my Fickle Spicy Pickles could have stood up a little straighter when they came out of the jar.. alas, there was a bit of drunken wobble in them. But all in all, they gave a satisfying, yet delicate crunch when bit into and were piquant and herbaceous to taste. Quiet fiery, in fact, if you wanted a more subdued spice, simply add less red pepper flakes.

I’ve yet to open my regular Philly Dill Pickles, fingers are crossed that they are more “rigid”!

If I was forced to choose a favorite.. I think that may put me in a bit of a quandary, er.. pickle!

Note: When buying my cucumbers, I selected those that looked about the height of my jar. They were packed at the market in a bag that looked like it would just about fill my four jars perfectly.. so I didn’t bother weighing or measuring my cucumbers.

Prepare your jars as outlined here.

Recipes can be found here at

“The Art of Pickle”

Love, Smidge




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