into the drink: making pickles, drowning beetles

pickle-jars-2LIKE CLOCKWORK THEY START TO APPEAR ABOUT NOW: A first harvest of cucumbers, and also one of Japanese beetles. Into separate and quite different “brines” they go as fast as they develop, one a vinegar-salt formula, the latter a bit bubbly. In case you have either the blessing or the curse or both to harvest about now, I offer up my best recipes: one for Refrigerator Pickles, the other for Beetle Juice–a beverage nobody drinks, but somebody drowns in…guess who (click to see, below)?

For those of you experiencing serious Japanese beetle issues, you may also have moles (who like to feast on the beetle grubs). More on that very closely related topic, and on ridding oneself of the beetle grubs for a healthier lawn and fewer beetles and moles, is here.


  1. Susan says:

    This will have to be my first canning job of the season. I do not grow my own, but will get them from the farmers market. The recipe from Shauna look fab.

  2. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    Margaret after seeing this POST, I went out to take a look at my vegetable patches. My tomato, bush beans, flat leafed parsley, and mammoth dill are ALL doing fine. BUT the cucumbers that were planted around Memorial Day, along with the just mentioned vegetables came up grew to about 8″ to 10″ , and stopped! The absence of a lot of sun, and heat must have stopped their growth. The only things that are growing in the vegetable patches are CRAB GRASS. I never put down PREEN in any space where I eat from, so soon I will be doing a SECOND weeding in those places. My next thing to look into is CORN GLUTEN, thanks to your suggestions. Maybe I will LOVE it, and then you can do the “Happy Dance”, because you got another gardener to go LESS toxic!

  3. welltraveled says:

    I make a game of drowning the Japanese beetles and then I hand feed them to the fish..The little fish LOVE them ,jump right out of the lake to catch them..REVENGE is MINE…LOL

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Welltraveled. Sounds like you are finding great joy in your, er, gardening (well, at least in your beetlecide). Me, too, but my fish don’t seem to assist; will have to inquire what’s up with that. See you soon again.

  4. Susan says:

    Cucumbers have been coming for several weeks. I have many containers of freezer pickles already done. Now its on to canning dills and sweet pickles. What a labor of love since I don’t even like pickles.I just found a product called pickle crisp which is supposed to be used instead of lime to keep them crisp like the store bought. I’ll let you know how it works.

    1. Margaret says:

      Thanks, Susan — and hello! I have had my eye on some freezer-pickle recipes lately, so I am glad you mentioned it. Sort of refrigerator pickles in suspended animation… :)

  5. narf7 says:

    Delicious! I have read (somewhere in my etheral web travels) that you can blend these babies up and dilute them and spray them onto your veggies to give some sort of organic protection from future infestations? Might be worth a try but there is NO WAY that I am using my good blender to do it! Might have to head off to the thrift shop to see if I cant find me a “bug blending” blender ;)

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