I spent this past weekend in nothing more than pajamas or a swimsuit. I'd get up when I damn well felt like it, lounge in my jammies until the sun was directly over The Hamptons, change into my swimsuit and spend the rest of the day in the back yard despite temps in the high nineties and humidity in the eighties. I floated in the pool, listening to podcasts of my favorite NPR shows and thinking about what I had in the house to eat, which was next to nothing as I've been broke as a joke for about two weeks now. I had to get inventive but ended the weekend proud of the delicious and pleasing meals I created out of 6 eggs, a bag of tortilla chips, a can of refried beans, a smidgen of bacon, the butt end of a loaf of crusty bread, the butt end of a block of cheese, less than a pound of hamburger (discovered behind the popsicles), nine teabags and one cucumber.
My first amazing creation was refrigerator pickles. All summer my grandma would have one of these in the fridge filled with refrigerator pickles. I was always in trouble for snacking on them until there weren't any left for dinner. I had forgotten about them until a couple years back and was damned excited when I found a recipe that tasted just like grandma's.
Staples of my childhood summersIn response to an overwhelming demand for the recipe I decided to share. Okay, two of you said "blech!" and one of you mentioned maybe making them sometime but in my narcissistic mind that was you clamoring for instruction in domestic prowess so here you go:
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
dill, salt, and pepper to taste
a pinch of sugar
Let chill at least an hour or two to let the flavors meld. My grandma always included wedges of fresh tomatoes, too, but I didn't have any, didn't want to go get any, and needed to use the cucumber. You can also add onions, if you're into that sort of thing.
The fun side effect of this dish is the vinegary cucumber burps that come later. Radishes are also good for this. Mmmmmm . . . better the second time.
Also pictured above is a tall, cool glass of homemade iced tea. I'm always amazed that people don't know how to make tea. I'm pretty sure I could make tea before I could tie my shoes. Anyway, the following instruction is for them because everyone should know this.
Fresh-brewed Sweet Tea:
For a gallon of tea, submerge nine Lipton teabags (I use decaf) into boiling water. Let it bubble a little then remove from heat. Let it steep for a few minutes, but not too long or it will get bitter. Put a little less than a half cup of sugar into a gallon pitcher and pour the warm tea over the sugar. Stir to dissolve and then top off with cold water. You can use more sugar if you prefer syrup to a refreshing glass of tea, but I don't advise it.
Stir. Chill. Enjoy. Then call to tell me how great
I am it is.