Monday, August 22, 2011

Late August Pickles

When I was pregnant with Henry, I used to stumble downstairs at six am with Janie in tow and start the day with a pickle and 8 ounce can of coke.  This recipe is really good, pregnant or not, and will help if you have an abundance of mini cukes growing in your late August garden late like we do.

Spicy Garlic Refrigerator Pickles
Adapted from

6 or 7 pickling cucumbers, sliced
1 ¼ cup water
1 ¼ cups white vinegar
3/4 cup chopped fresh dill weed
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, water, vinegar, chopped dill, sugar, garlic, mustard, and peppercorns.  Stir and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Remove the cucumbers to glass jars (I used clean, recycled pickle jars).  Ladle in the liquid from the bowl to cover.  Seal with lid.  Refrigerate for 10 days before eating – or try that same day like we did.  Eat pickles within 1 month. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day Ten

This morning the grey settled on us like a blanket.  Day ten of our eleven-day stay.  Like a cool cloth on fevered skin, it eased the fury.  Nine days prior had been streaked with white sun, salted hair, heated cheeks.  Clunking sand toys, swooshing nets, cannonballs.  A whirring buzz.  Then today.  Balmy air and gentle skies broke, summons to gaze at the bottom of tidal pools, creep over mossed rocks, drink lavender skies.  Listen.  Even the kids moved slowly.  Watched the reel drag silver across green, while we mindlessly dipped fingers and toes. 

Tomorrow is day eleven.  We’ll tuck our memories and aching hearts deep into the bottom of a huge, bulky bag and head home into the August air.  Air that already licks us with fall.  We’ll wonder how it went both so fast, and so slow.  And all winter long, I will dream of that green pond water.  Liquid.  Warm.  Gleaming.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eye of the summer

We barely saw the outside of the house this week, between the heat wave and a nasty bout of the flu that gripped our house.  While we lay dormant, the yard turned to jungle fed on the power of late July.  We stepped outside to a tangle of grass, bees, blinding sunshine.  Tomatoes bleeding orange from the deep heat, butternut vines creeping like hunters through burnt grass.  Echinacea full and heavy, hundreds of crowned spiky heads bowing in worship to the dead of summer sun.  And cabbage swirling itself into a river of rippled taffy, kneading wave upon wave to a knot of crimson.  Enough beauty to take your breath away.  Especially when you’ve been stuck in artificially chilled air for seven days.