Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the witch apples


I got the recipe.  B's killer pickles.  My favorites.  Each year I hoard them away from everyone else and each year they are perfect.  But not this year, because this year B didn't make them; I did.

I don't know why they sucked in on themselves, pruning like a bunch of old cocks in their brine.  B's don't do that.  I could take a jar to Persephone and show them what their cucumbers have done to me, and to my delicious garlic, and jalapeƱos, and to my dreams, eighteen quarts over, but I'm not sure they're to blame.  Maybe next year when I once again have a whole row of pickling cukes I'll try again, in just a few jars to start, and prove to myself that I can do it.  I can make the good pickles!  On the other hand, there are still jars of oversized, nearly inedible (whew, especially a year later) cornichons in the basement from the Pickling Chronicles of 2011.  I think it's time for a city compost sacrifice.

The day that I pruned my pickles, Julia and Eric came over for dinner crowing over their first really-truly-just-right fermented pickles.  They were embarrassed to be bragging, and they didn't even know of the rows of sorry jars squatting in the basement, but I was thrilled to hear of such success.  If you don't miss the mark a few times, what is winning?  I only hope I get to taste them.

summer bumps along

Little by little, summer rolls through the door.  Little by little, it rolls away to spend some time on the bottom half of the ball.  We are used to it now, to yellow grass and blue skies, skipping out the screen door without our shoes.  Tomatoes at every meal, plenty of plenty.  It never feels, on the food front, anything less than bountiful here, to me.  But the generosity of the weather, of being able to do what you like when you want - waking to sun and breakfast on the deck, making dinner in minutes, taking the bike to the park only to do the slide and come home in time for dessert... It feels as luxurious as the white peaches we've been plowing through, four and five a day, as the candy bowl of sungolds, always on the table, as the pink evening sky behind the fat, dry sunflowers, which the birds pick at before bed.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

more greens!

I cleaned out about half the first bed yesterday - making way for the growing kale plants by yanking all the crazy, smothering mustards.  I had to keep packing down the pile in my basket, to get them to fit.

It took two rounds in both pans to braise them all, and in between I decanted the braising liquid from the first batch (I just shake them and toss them into the hot, lightly oiled pans from the sink, but they sweat like mad) into a mason jar and then absentmindedly drank the whole pint of hot murky green broth while braising the second batch.

It must be the pregnancy, right?  Like a vegetal vampire.  It was just so delicious!