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We have a thing for porcupines in this house. Don’t ask; I can’t explain it. My gravatar is a porcupine block print that I made; years ago it also became a Christmas card as well. Mr. K and I co-drew a funny porcupine picture when we were dating that made us laugh so hard we framed it. I own an actual porcupine quill from a curiosity shop. And now this beautiful baby:
Baby porcupine
I am so utterly charmed by this print. It’s by Sharon Montrose and can be found at The Animal Print Shop.
DSCN0032 edited
Another thing we like around here? Pickles. A few weeks ago I went to a birthday party where my very talented friend and former roommate Michelle served homemade deli-style pickles. I had, um, four. Garlic breath aside, these pickles were so good that I asked for the recipe. I went out and bought myself a big ol’ canning jar and made a first attempt last weekend.

Canned pickles

Here’s what you do: Halve or quarter about two pounds of smallish cucumbers and put them in a large bowl or pot. Dissolve 1/3 cup of salt (Michelle recommends using a bit less) in 1 cup of boiling water, add five cloves of crushed garlic and a large handful of roughly chopped dill, and then throw in a few ice cubes to cool the mixture down. Pour this over the cucumbers and stir. Put a plate on top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged in the brine.

Pickles in brine
Leave the cucumbers in the brine at room temperature for about eight hours, give or take, but start taste testing every two hours or so. Mine got too salty, so I swapped out some of the brine for fresh water. Once the cucumbers are pickle-y enough, transfer them to a jar and pour in enough of the brining liquid to cover. They’ll keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.
Bonus: pretty jar in the fridge!