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The variety of the week is Pickles!

Pickles are a great alternative to slicing cucumbers like we talked about last week. They have a smaller seed cavity and they maintain their crunch longer. They also have a thinner skin than a slicing cucumber so many don’t even peel them before they eat them. They naturally grow with a little waxy feeling on the skin, but it isn’t as prominent as it is with traditional cucumbers. Both have their purpose though (more on this later!), and we enjoy them all at our house.

Refrigerator Pickles

6 cups sliced cucumbers 1 cup sliced onion 1 green pepper, chopped 1 cup vinegar 2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon celery seed

Heat vinegar and sugar; boil until dissolved. About 5-7 minutes. Add salt, and celery seed. Pour over cucumbers, onions and green pepper. Store in refrigerator. These will keep for several weeks.

*If you don’t like celery seed you can substitute with fresh or dried dill as well. Many recipes leave out the herb altogether.

Creamy Cucumbers

1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar 3 teaspoons dried dill weed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 8 fresh pickles or 4 cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, sugar, vinegar, dill, salt and pepper. In a separate large mixing bowl, toss together cucumbers and onions. Pour sour cream mixture over top and mix together. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

***So that CSA Share members have an easier time using their Thyme, here is a simple recipe to expand from.

Thyme Zucchini

2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 pound fresh zucchini, cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped Salt Freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add the onion and parsley, sprinkle with salt, and cook until soft, but not browned.

Add the zucchini sticks and thyme. Sprinkle with a little more salt and some black pepper. Gently stir to coat the zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how tender the raw zucchini is to begin with, and how small you have sliced the pieces. Check and stir every few minutes. Be careful not to overcook.

Have a great weekend! ~The Farmer’s Wife

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