Not today but soon, I'll tell you all about my bee battle, okay, okay yellow jackets, not bees, shoot me down like the dog I am, yes I've been taking short cuts and calling everything that flies and stings a bee and it is not fair and yes, I could have sworn that the flying stinging little buggers in the soil by my irises were indeed fuzzy and therefore a bee, however, on closer inspection they are indeed yellow jackets not solitary ground bees that suddenly had changed their habits and became angry colonists. (Confessions usually call for run on sentences.)
But as I began with, I will tell you all about it in another post, date tba. Today I have decided to try to stick to one subject. I will say here that I am inside lounging with the laptop in the middle of the day, not because it is raining, I would love to be in the rain, but because I am researching overseeding pastures and such and I am doing that mostly because I am sportin' another bee sting that has given me an extra elbow and a rather queezy and fluctuating thermostat. (Justifications also call for run on sentences.)
This clearly is the summer of ketchup so catch up I shall.
Monday found me very excited. It was raining and it was time to get into a pickle with Tipper and a couple of her readers! Fourteen Day Pickles are underway.
Here is my photomontage of my Monday morning. Hope you can follow along. I should have a bouncing pickle like sing along with Mitch's little bouncing ball.
These are the cukes I purchased at Duris Pickle Farm down in the big valley. They were labled extra small but there were ones labeled exta extra small. I'm the only adult, grown-up, ahhh parent here at Vicktory Farms that eats sweet picks so I'm making them to my liking and I like sweet picks at about a two bite affair.
I ended up using one hundred even though Tipper's recipe called for three dozen. Even at that I was still short of her volume measure of two gallons, mine equalled just a bit over a gallon.
Even though I had a crock, two actually, and Tipper's recipe called for a three gallon crock, I have that, I went out and bought a two gallon glass crock at the forbidden store. Knowing on Saturday afternoon that my hundred cukes barely measured a gallon and a half and Tipper was using two gallons of cukes in a three gallon crock I figured that her ratio of cukes to size of crock would be like me using a two gallon crock for my barely gallon and a half cukes.
This is the murky waters after all the little sweet cukes got brished up and into the two gallon glass crock.
At first I was not excited to hand count out one hundred of the two types of cukes I had come to get. But when I was washing them up I was glad that I had to buy them by count not by weight or volume. Counting forced me to touch each and every one I chose. So yes, I have two I shouldn't have had but if I had bought them by anyother means I would most likely have ended up with way more duds than that.
Next came the brine. Both Tipper's and the recipe I found for my garlic dills called for a ten percent brine solution. (salt solution) In regular water an egg, fresh egg, sinks. Like a rock, no tettering no tottering.
But in a ten percent brine solution the very same egg floats! I just did that to check it out. I actually just measured one pint of salt to one gallon water. Once again, I am glad that I live on well water. In preparation for the day I read a lot that says that you can have trouble trying to do pickles in this manner if you use city tap water that is treated with chlorine and such. Not a problem for me. I love my house and where I live. Have I ever mentioned that Dear Reader? I am so thankful for my nice big house. I can have all the things I need and a lot of what I don't really need all inside my sweet house. And it is chalk a block full of history and stories.
That was pretty much all I needed to do for Tipper's pickles until the eighteenth. And my recipe for garlic dills follows nearly the same except that I am layering dill and garlic in the bottom and middle of the slightly larger cukes. But the same brine, salt, solution is poured over the dill, garlic and cuke layers.
The dill was looking a little droopy but man alive it perked up after it was in this glass of water.
For this batch I am using the three gallon crock crock. My mind is twirling with what to put in the ten gallon one. Bet and I are sauerkraut eaters and I would love to eat real sauerkraut.
Even though I harvested thirty pounds of garlic recently I spotted these big fellas at the local grocer's. They were incredibly cheap. Er.. inexpensive. Especially when compared to the seed garlic I had just ordered a few days ago. I will be planting back each of the varieties I harvested from last fall's plantings that I bought from FilareeFarm. They were great! and all four performed beyond expectations, but I want to expand my current repertoire so I have ordered four more varieties to add to next year's (by the way, I just realized I sort of already explained my "next year" thing in How the Heck!?! so I am off the hook for further explaination, but that isn't to say I won't).
But I saw, well Bet and I saw, these in the local grocer's produce collection at such a dirt cheap price and they are so nice and big and appear to be softneck and therefore braidable, that I thought I would add them to my collection to plant in October. These are the garlics that I used for in the garlic dill's crock. I wanted to see what these little big guys looked like out of their skins. They're pretty stinkin' good looking (no pun originally intended there but I'll go with the stinkin').
Hey I just looked at the begining of that paragraph and saw another unintentional pun, dirt cheap. But then I guess you gotta know my running battle with my dear Dirt in order to see that one.
First couple of hours I wondered about what I might have left out in the rain. Dirt too. Then we both remembered that he left one of the tillers out. He's the mechanic. He wasn't worried, why would I get up and try and get it in?
But then I spent the rest of the night awake alone. I could tell you exactly what times it rained, when it was just misting, when it stopped completely and how many inches we got. I'm not kidding.
I was excited to go to bed and fall asleep listening to the rain. We, Dirt and I, have been in the trailer all summer, the bed is better out there, and when you're in the trailer the rain is hard to miss. You're right Susie, I was so looking forward to the sound of the rain lulling me to sleep.
Instead, I ended up being more excited about exactly how good it was going to rain. I'm looking forward to it being a soaker.
Well off to play with my bees.