I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the weather. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WEATHER?
We lived in New Orleans for three years in the early 80’s. Oh my goodness. If you want to feel oppression at its best (or worst) take a stroll through New Orleans in July or August. Summer has never held the same meaning for me since those days in the Crescent City.
I have been running from the sun and humidity ever since. If there is a shade tree, I will find him and he WILL become my friend.
Since we moved to the farm, I have had to buck up and take the heat. My chores take me outside throughout the day and I have now decided that 95 is nothing. Much time has been spent in trying to convince myself of that. I have realized that 98-99 is the danger point for my animals so I am pretty calm if it stays under that.
BUT FOR CRYIN” OUT LOUD!!!!
I’m just sayin’.
On a serious note, I look at the country scape, suburban scape, or where ever you have your eyes set right now, (if you live in the heartland) and I want to weep. I will accept the 95 degree days if we could just get water to our trees and crops. In all of my years, I have not witnessed such a sad state of affairs.
What happens when trees totally dry out? Do they just fall over? I keep imagining trees falling randomly onto roads and highways.
Where do we get water if our lake source dries up?
What happened to Atlanta when their lake source dried up a couple of years ago?
What is going to happen to our trees that are indigenous to this area when they are no longer capable of surviving?
Are we going to be witness to a severe shift in our environment and ecology? Our environment may survive this season, but two seasons in a row?
Am I being paranoid? Maybe.
We say the Serenity Prayer a lot around here:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I need to say it more often so that I can stop worrying about things I have no control over. I obviously think that if I worry enough that it will start raining. Or worse yet cynicism will creep in because I have lost faith that it will ever rain. That is the worst thing that I could do. Cynicism is more toxic than worrying. So, I think I’ll jump back on the saddle and say my Serenity prayer.
We have cucumbers coming out of our ears! Many recipes I have looked at contained sugar. I did not want to do that. This recipe is supposedly the same as Bubbies. Found in grocery stores. Kind of considered top of the line, old style, wonderful pickles. My family are pickle snobs so this was/is tricky for me. Ours are done and they taste wonderful. What is really cool is that it said if I wanted my pickles to keep a crispness crunch to add oak leaves to the jars. We only have 90 acres of oak trees so it was my pleasure to oblige. We like crispy pickles.
If you are growing them, please use this recipe. It is yummy and healthy. If you are not, buy pickle cucumbers at your farmer’s market and make them. It is super easy.
If you do not have a lot of experience in fermentation of foods (natural way of preserving food which has been used hundreds of years until we discovered chemicals) it may be scary as it contradicts the way we have been taught to preserve food. I have been doing it for 7 years and it works. And not only does it work, it provides you with naturally grown probiotics which we all need desperately.
Pickles from the Shieling
The following ingredients will fulfill the requirements for a 1/2 gallon ball jar. Use less if using smaller jars. You may use whole, spears or any cut you would like pickles.
Fill jar with pickles
3 T. non- iodized sea salt
1 Head of garlic, peeled chopped
1.5 T. whole dill seed
1 T. whole coriander seed
1/2 t. whole mustard seed
1/2 t. whole peppercorns
1/2 t. fennel seed
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1-3 oak or grape leaves
Fill jar with filtered warm water and put lid on. Shake about to dissolve salt and mix ingredients. Open jar back up and put a weight of some sort on top of water to keep the cucumbers submerged. You do not want the pickles to get air during the fermentation process. You can use a stone or small tile. I used two sticks crisscrossed that were wedge into the neck of the jar. It keeps contents stuck underneath. Keep a loose seal on jar lid. Set in nice warm place for 1-4 weeks. Check after a week and see if they are tasty enough for you. I kept mine on the shelf for 2 weeks and they were perfect. Afterwards place them in cool place (refrigerator or cellar) for as long as it takes to eat them. Once they are done sitting and you put them in fridge it is no longer necessary to keep weight on pickles. They are self preserved through the fermentation process. Enjoy!
As I finish this post after starting last night, I’d like to report 1/4 inch of rain. It was specTACular!