Pickles. I have been thinking about pickles for months. Looking forward to making pickles for months, Searched the internet for recipe combinations for months. After a successful trip to the farmer's market and tons of research I was ready to get in the kitchen (and out of my garden which was all consuming for awhile there) and make my own.
Pickles are simple, really. Just cucumbers and the right balance of sweet (sugar) and sour(vinegar) and spices to give it oomph.
The big stress is that you don't really know how a recipe will turn out until weeks after your labor went in. Not true of refrigerator pickles that you can eat right away with wild abandon (I like pickles). Canned takes a little longer to really develop the flavors. Don't get me wrong, I like refrigerator pickles as well. Especially as a good relish on a grilled all beef hot dog in the summer with some watermelon, potato salad, broccoli slaw . . . sorry, you lost me for a moment there.
I plan to make several different pickles once I get a crop of my own cucumbers in the fall (cross your fingers here, nothing is a given), but I had to start somewhere. I went with Bread and Butter Pickles from Simply Recipes. I liked it because it had red pepper flakes in it and I knew it wouldn't be just another sweet pickle.
Now getting back to the hot dog relish. I have 10 pickling cucumbers on my counter that I think will be perfect. Looks like I have a plan for my day.