Saturday, July 30, 2011

Garden Fresh Pickles

About a year ago I decided to look up a pickle recipe because we had cucumers and dill in the school garden. After a bit of looking I found a great recipe on eHow that looked quick and easy.

At one point I used garden grown chilies in my pickles, but this time they're from the market. In addition, I had hoped at some point to use garden grown garlic, but that experiment didn't work.

I was lamenting the fact that we didn't have the ingredients before 4th of July. Just imagine these pickles with our hamburgers and fries - perfect American meal in the heart of Thailand!

24 Hour Pickles*

What you need:
White vinegar
Fresh garlic
Fresh dill heads
Chilies (optional)

Step one: Combine the following ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil:
1 cup vinegar
5 cups water
1/3rd cup salt
Once the vinegar/salt/water (brine) has boiled, set aside and let cool completely.

Step 2: Cut 5-6 fresh pickle-sized cucumbers lengthwise into wedges (or slices for hamburgers!).

Step 3: Peel about ten cloves of garlic and slice finely.

Step 4: Put the cucumbers, garlic, 5 or 6 fresh heads of dill, and 2-3 chillies in a 1/2 gallon air-tight glass container (or equivalent).

Step 5: Pour the (cooled) brine into the jar(s). Secure the cover and place in the refrigerator.

Pickles are ready in 24 hours!

*This recipe was from, which has since been revamped, and I can no longer find it online to reference.

Posted by: Aj. Erika

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 4th Has Come and Gone Again!

Every year I look forward to July 4th. The food, the fun, the fireworks! Even in Thailand it is possible to have a great 4th! There was one a couple years ago that just didn't feel like it should've. It rained for several days straight and our time was spent huddled out of the rain and trying to start a fire. To me that year just didn't compare to the year before. But this year was great! It included all the necessary ingredients. We had amazing hamburgers, french fries, watermelon, soda, cookies, and ice cream! The evening was capped off with fireworks and impromptu music making.

Everyone chipped in to make the meal and we really had a great time. July 4th is also one of the first "events" of the year and a fun chance to hang out with new students and get to know them better. This year, the 2nd year students gave their first speech, which was about their life, that night so it was fun hearing those too!

The spread before we all dug in (minus the best stuff like the hamburgers, french fries, and ice cream).

The baby!

Samuey cooking up the hamburgers (the grill had some issues).

Uaorawet and I frying the french fries.

A meal infinitely better than McDonalds!

The three teachers chowing down.

Making music.

Attima, Wanlee, Haechi, and Chanpang in front of the ice cream.

I feel so thankful that even so far away we were able to experience the fun of the day. And the Friday before one of the students asked to pray that Americans would understand the day coming up. Kind of interesting that he thought about it. Hopefully I understand just a little of what the day means!

Posted by: Erika