19 January 2018

Weekend reading

I took advantage of the Aldi special on cucumbers this week and bought 10 continental cucumbers for 79 cents each. It's good to stock up on bread and butter cucumbers when you can. They're one of the easiest pickles you can make.  All you need are the ingredients below, a few sterilised jars and lids and a bit of time.

I used a mandolin to cut the cucumbers and for this amount I placed them in two large bowls. Cover with salt and make sure most of the slices have some salt on them. It drains the juice from the cucumbers so it doesn't dilute the vinegar solution that will preserve them in the jars. Let them sit for about 4 hours, then wash the salt off under a tap and drain the cucumbers in a colander.  Pack the slices into your sterilised jars and cover with the following preserving liquid.

You'll have to judge how much of this you make according to how many jars you need to fill.  I used:
  • 3 ½ cups good quality white vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon celery seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • dill and chilli pieces are optional but they add flavour to the mix
Place everything except the dill and chilli into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour the hot liquid into the jars, making sure you cover the slices completely.  If you're adding dill and chilli, add it while you're loading the jars. Put on the lids, wash the jar under the tap to remove any liquid, turn the jars upside down to sit on the lid for an hour or so then turn them back again and allow to sit on the kitchen bench overnight.  These will keep in the fridge for six months. You can start eating them the following day but the flavour gets better if they sit for a while.

It's been wonderful seeing the interest in The Simple Home series I started a couple of weeks ago. I love the sharing and encouragement that's happening in the comments. Don't forget to come back on Monday when we'll tackle customising your work spaces and looking after what you own.  

I hope you have a great weekend. Take advantage of any spare time you have to put your feet up and look after yourself.

Travel knitting - Youtube
How to get faster at knitting
Parmesan Potato Stacks Recipe
Heatwaves are Australia's deadliest natural hazard and many of us are unprepared
What food geniuses pack for school lunches


  1. Thanks for the links for the weekend reading, Rhonda. I have just read the one about the heatwaves. Another hot weekend coming up but hopefully not as bad as last Saturday's heat. Have a cool relaxing weekend.

  2. Hi Rhonda

    I love these pickles, they are delicious and look so great in those jars,Thank you for sharing and inspiring us.
    Have a great weekend,
    Love Marta

  3. Looks like a good recipe; I will give it a try!

  4. They look lovely but the first thing I do with salads and hamburgers is pick out the cucumber. Even if it has been pickled I dislike the taste and texture of cucumbers. I used to grow them specifically for when my younger sister came to visit as she would pick straight from the vine and eat.
    Claire in Melbourne

  5. Hello dear Rhonda, thank you for visiting my blog and for your always thoughtful and kind comments. You have no idea how many conversations I've had with you in my head over the years. I do hope a real life meeting isn't too far away. Unlike my pickled cucumbers. I think I've got about 25 plants in the ground this season but so far the girls are eating everything as it ripens and I haven't had the chance to get even a solitary jar full. For the last few years I've been using a salty brine method for mine. Please let me know if you want a copy of the recipe. They're delicious. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Lots of love xxxx

    1. Hello dear Kate. Girls eating fresh cucumbers is as it should be. Maybe your preserves will have to wait a while. If you come up this way, let me know and we'll have you over for lunch. That would be a fine treat. And yes to the salty brine cucumbers recipe. I do love the sour taste of sharp vinegar but I'd love to try your way too. Thank you. xx

    2. Hello,

      Yes, do please share your recipe with us all! Sounds delicious.

    3. I have just pickled a heap of cucumbers from my garden with the help of my teenage son who loves to eat them. When my kids were younger I could never get enough cucumbers to pickle either as they hardly made it into the house. Their tastes have changed and now probably 80% of them end up in a jar. Although the jars are emptied almost as quickly as we make them. I have to hide a few jars for later in the year!!

  6. Oooohh, I'm looking forward to Monday - looking after what we own.

  7. I started reading your blog a week ago. Can’t stop reading love it. I just starting my simple life journey at age 60. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with others.

  8. Just found your beautiful website! I am anxious to catch up on the previous posts in 2018. Can you tell me if there is an easy way to print your recipes i.e.. pickles? Thanks and I am hooked on your philosophy of life!

  9. What a wonderfull gift they are too, those beautifull jars filled with cucumbers. I saved the recipe for when it is summertime in this part of the world.
    I loved the links for the weekendreading, I really enjoyed them!
    I am also looking forward to part three of the Simple Home. I am reading those chapters in your book accordingly. For me this works better as to really get involved with al the advice en let it stick with me. Thank you for all the work you put into all this!

  10. Omg.. That looks absolutely delish :) Thanks for recipe!

  11. I'm trying it this recipe today with the glut of zucchinis I have at the moment! My grand father passed down his 'vintage' Bamix mandolin to me, it was a pleasure using it for the first time. Looking forward to the final product �� Jade


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