After reading about just how easy it was to make homemade dill pickles (somehow I expected more steps than canning peaches) at Eating Locally in the Pacific Northwest, Eric, Finn and I went off to the Ballard Farmer's Market on Sunday for an armload of pickling cucumbers, to supplement the four we grew in the garden. That was the easy part. Finding alum was a bit harder. No luck at two grocery stores and one local hardware store with an extensive kitchen/canning section. Our last hope was the massive grocery/department/always-too-busy-to-be-sane store where I bought the canner last summer. We crossed our fingers, the angels sang, and we found the alum. Once home, we followed all the directions very carefully, and now we have seven quarts of these beauts to look forward to.... in about two months.
To celebrate, we had a dinner of brats, grilled peppers, grilled portabellas with pesto, garlic and feta, and grilled peaches, our new favorite food. If you have not tried this, and you're within driving distance to fresh peaches and a charcoal grill (I have a sneaking suspicion that they just wouldn't be the same over propane), try these. Simply cut the peach(es) in half, remove the stone, sprinkle the flesh with a pinch of sugar and grill, somewhere between the hottest and coolest parts of the grill, flesh-side down, for about two minutes, turn once, two minutes more, and serve warm. Oh. so. good.