Thursday, 29 August 2013

In a bit of a pickle

One day last week, I went out early to feed the chooks and realized things had changed.  The light was different.  It was more subdued and the deep summer early morning brightness was gone.  The breeze had changed and instead of that sultry southern warm wind, it was a cool north westerly coming through.  Later in the day, no matter how hard that sun shone, it didn't have that intensity that it seemed to have just a few days before.  That night, the tree frogs were deafening in their near unison chanting.  A couple of days ago, I headed out early and there was a flock of geese laying over in a field of golden winter wheat stubble.  The small stream had an eerie feel with the steam rising off of it.   Yep, it's feeling a lot like fall, sigh, and I'm so not ready for it.

The plane socks are finally done.  They've been sitting around almost there for a couple of weeks, with the second sock just needing the toe to be grafted.  Yesterday I sat down and bit the bullet, and grafted that silly thing together, tucked in the ends and voila!, another pair of socks for the impending winter.

Despite the weather, the cucumbers have given us a decent yield.  So many in fact that I wasn't able to keep up with them for just lunches, snacks and salads.   What to do with lots of cucumbers?  Make pickles of course!  The first batch was garlic dills.  Garlic dill pickles tend to disappear pretty quickly, especially when the boys come home for a visit.  I decided to try chunks this time instead of slicing up the cucumbers into spears.   These have to sit at least a week before eating.

Then I came across a recipe for sweet bread and butter pickles which looked delicious and simple.  So I made up a batch of those as well.   Luckily these only take 48 hours before one can sneak a taste.

The only thing about making pickles is of course the timing.  I never seem to make them in the beginning of the summer.  Combined with canning tomatoes, they are like an exclamation point to the end of summer preserving activities.  


Woolly Bits said...

I have no luck with my cucumbers this year. the plant inside is growing like mad, but has only produced two proper cucumbers. the rest just seem to shrivel and fall off, even though the plant looks healthy! anyway, maybe it's a bit more posivite if you think about all that extra time inside during late autumn and winter - where you can spin, weave or knit? seems to cheer me up:)

Leigh said...

Your socks turned out super. Their cheerful color will be welcome when winter's dreariness sets in!

Pickling is a wonderful way to use up odds and ends from the garden. I wouldn't have thought to add bits of tomato to cucumber pickles, but it certainly does make for attractive jars.