Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Pickles and the like

It will come as no surprise to many that I like making stuff. Whether its making a fire or making you laugh or making wine or making a hat, I just like it a lot. One of the things I like to make is pickles (and jams and chutneys and jellies and marmalades). Whatever it is I usually group it all together as pickles. As in its a good day for pickling.
Sometimes I make what I have the ingredients for and other times I will make a list. Some of the things I put up in jars I don't eat and others I do. I like to say I like making stuff out of nothing.
Rhubarb is a prime example. It just grows. Whether you want it to or not. And if you run out people are always willing to hack out 35 lbs of it and give it to you. It is a versatile creation. Catsup, pickles or marmalade its all good.
I am lucky in that I have a very good Jar Network. Most of my jars come back to me to be filled and sent back out. And folks collect jars for me too. Actually my grandparents are so good at sending jars I think they must strong arm their buddies into giving up their own jars.
Now I have to admit I like chopping and stirring steamy concoctions that threaten to boil over or steam the stirrer to death during hot summer days.
This year I tried two new pickly things. I made jelly out of my homemade wine... the pineapple was deeeeelicious. And I also made Watermelon Rind Pickles which had intrigued me since reading Farmer Boy as a kid. Its the story of Almanzo who married Laura Ingalls. His sister makes the pickles and I always wondered what they would be like. Just so you know they are a pretty pickle and taste good to boot.
Then there is the green tomato pickle. Its very pretty with lots of colour and lots of fans. I usually don't make many because I never have the tomatoes but this year I was in luck because my "neighbour" gave me permission to loot his greenhouse and I made away with almost 16 lbs of the little green fellers.
With a blizzard on the way I need to fill up the wood box and batten down the chickens but after that it will be a good time to plan the garden and the pickling seeing as spring is around the corner (really it is!)

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