Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"It's A Question Of Lifestyle . . . . . . . " or Love's Labour Found, Part II.

Red Coleus
Sunday Morning, September 12th, 2010

As I was saying, it's a question of lifestyle.  Fall always seems to be an introspective time for us.  It's also when we suddenly feel the Season's changing, or beginning to change.  And for us we know that Winter is coming and that there is so much to do before we are ready!

Like eating as much fresh local organic lettuce as we can!
purchased at the October 2009 Guild Fair.

A couple of decades ago my Mom gave me a large envelope stuffed with some of her favorite recipe clippings.  My Mother was a phenomenal cook and baker.  She could cook anything and everything, and she cooked it superbly.  I guess, in a way, I grew up in her kitchen.  I don't really remember helping her that much.  But I was with her, watching and talking and learning a lot more than I realized at the time.

We looked and never were able to find the rest of her recipes.  I thought they were gone forever . . .  Last Fall I found them!  They were stuffed in the back of the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet we inherited from her.  A different manila folder for each type of recipe: cakes, breads, main courses, salads, and on and on.  So many recipes that I remember!  So many recipes to cook.  Oh my, so many taste to recreate.

Pat caught me!

Slicing organic Market cukes by hand.
My favorite large bowl by David Grant, from 2009.

I was in the grips of a Fall Compulsion!  Last year was the first time I had ever made pickles and they were wonderful and fun and I am hooked!  And we'd actually been buying pickles for a month!!!  So now, armed with Mom's recipes I was determined to re-make her incredible Bread & Butter pickles.

Sliced onions and garlic added.

I pressed a beautiful bowl by Tom Turnbull into service for the overflow!

Packed back into David's bowl, salted and iced and
into the fridge for 3 hours.

In the meantime I sliced more cukes for dill pickles
as the brine heated.

A few hours later Bread & Butter pickles heating through before hot packing.
I never knew that turmeric gave them their wonderful color and flavour!

Pat's partial to dill pickles.  Mom's Bread and Butter Pickles have always been my favorites.  After checking some other recipes I changed her recipe by slightly reducing the sugar content.  (No wonder I loved them!)

I also learned just how much work they are.  What an incredible Labour of Love Mom did year after year after year.  She supplied us with pickles, cookies (oh the cookies!), cakes and pies, some of the greatest healthiest meals of my life were made by her.

7 half-pints and 1 pint of Almost-Mom's Bread & Butter Pickles!

9 half-pints and 3 pints of Almost-Kosher Deli-Style Dill Pickles for Pat!

As I said, it's all a question of lifestyle.  It's pretty simple.  What's important?  How do you want to live?  What do you want your life to be?  Every choice, large and small, determines who we are and how we live our lives.

And I wanted homemade pickles back in our lives again!

Sure, some choices and decisions take a little longer to grow to fruition.  But isn't it worth it all???  So, these views are for Terry . . .

Inky and I had an idea, May 23rd, 2010.

Planted June 14th, 2010.

Nearing the end of the Season, September 2nd, 2010.

Because, you know, my Dear Sister Terry is right.
It's a question of lifestyle . . .