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Monday, September 8, 2014

Plan A didn't pan out, now working on plan B

So, when I plant my vegetable garden each spring, my thoughts are filled with high hopes and expectations.

Then weather happens, bugs happen, critters happen and off-timing happens. I know I should remember this from year to year. But maybe it's a good thing I'm so optimistic each spring. If I were too realistic, I may just give up on the garden altogether.

Anyway, my family really enjoys green bean dill pickles. I make several jars each summer to pop open in winter. Well, this year, when the green beans were ready, the dill and garlic weren't. And now that the dill and garlic are ready, the green beans are about done. Rats!

On to plan B.

I've found I need to keep my mind flexible with regards to the garden. The cucumbers did far better this year than they've done in years. So, plan B will be cucumber dill slices. I should be able to eek out a few jars of those before the season ends.

All is not lost. We'll enjoy some sort of dill pickle this winter. And we did enjoy the green beans fresh this summer, so that's a very good thing.

Let's hope I don't need a plan C.


  1. I just made some freezer dill pickles yesterday. I've made sweet freezer pickles before,but not dill so I'm curious how these will turn out. The first taste was pretty good, but they should be better when they set a little more.

    And you're right about gardening--flexibility is the key.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I have never made freezer pickles before. I have heard, though, that they do turn out crisp, which is not what you'd think would happen. I hope your freezer dills turn out as good as your sweet pickles.

    2. My hubby makes freezer pickes, both sweet and dill. They are always a hit.

      This year we had a bumper crop of zucchini (usually we are begging for it) but the Swiss chard didn't produce well. Tons of lettuce since it was such a cool summer. Ya never know ...

    3. Hi Kris,
      Well, at least you've had your fill of salads, since the lettuce did so well for you! Not much zucchini here, either. It's so hard to predict what will do well and what won't.

  2. You are so right! It is only my second year of harvesting berry bushes/fruit trees/a garden and I've already discovered this. Harvests that I'm thinking will be good sometimes fall short of my expectations and a few times I've even give up on harvesting something only to have it succeed. When I started this adventure, I didn't know that I would need to use so much creativity and flexibility.

    I hope next year is much better for your green bean dill pickles. Way to go for 'rolling with the punches' and making cucumber dill slices!


    1. Hi Angie,
      I've got the first batch of cucumber slices in cold, salt water right now and will pickle them this morning. I hope they turn out -- I don't have alum, so we'll see! But I'm sure they'll have good flavor, anyway. I am always taken by surprise (you'd think I'd learn) by what does and doesn't grow well each year!

  3. Oh Lili, I'm so sorry the green bean dill pickles didn't work out! So, so sorry... We love green bean dill pickles. I tasted them for the first time when my sister sent me some in a Christmas box this past year that she had canned last summer. Oh my goodness! We practically inhaled them. We couldn't get enough. We were fighting over the last few. My husband cannot stand green beans but he loved the pickles! LOL

    You might want to seriously consider putting aside some funds next year to buy garlic and dill when the beans are ready! For that matter, if you have this problem next year get in touch with me and I'll gladly send the garlic and dill in exchange for a jar of green bean dill pickles. It's called barter! ha ha

    But I bet your cucumber pickles are just as good!

    1. Hi Linda,
      green bean pickles are delicious, aren't they? There's a slight chance that I will get enough green beans for 1 jar of pickles, yet. But I'm not holding my breath. I did make 3 jars of kosher cucumber dills yesterday. They'll have to suffice for this year.

      I'm glad you've had the opportunity to sample dilled green bean pickles!

  4. I've never heard of green bean dill pickles before, but they sound really good. I bet the cucumber slices turn out well as well. Hopefully you don't need a Plan C!

    1. Hi Liz, oh they are good! They remain crisp, as opposed to cooking green beans. Plus I think they look pretty in the jar.

  5. We had a bumper crop of green beans this year. We ate and ate and ate green beans. I had decided the last harvest would be pickled, but it seems the last harvest was the last one I cooked. Though I am still having tons of blossoms, no beans are forming. Oh well! Glad you have cukes as a back-up. My okra is still forming pods and blooming like crazy. I may do a jar or 2 of pickled okra instead.

    1. Hi Anne,
      pickled okra sounds like a good plan B! I've only had okra in gumbo before. Pickled sounds interesting.

  6. Life was always like that when I was a little girl. What we had the most of that winter was based solely on what produced the most that summer and early Some years it was every use for apples you could think of, some years it was pickles, some years it was figs or pear or ...... you get the picture.

    I'm betting the pickles will be enjoyed just as much. :-)

    1. HI Shara,
      I guess you just have to roll with the punches and make the most of what grows well. I'm learning that! If you grew up only getting produce from the market, you just don't realize what a luxury that is.

      Our apples did really well this year, so I'm seeking ideas for using them. Tonight, I've made sauteed apples to go with leftover chicken and gravy.

  7. What? You're only on plan B? I tend to inhabit a area significantly further down in the alphabet. :-) Sounds delicious either way!

    1. Hi Cat,
      Too funny! Yeah, I've been known to have to come up with plan D, E and F. Luckily this time, plan B worked!


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