Friday, August 2, 2013

fermenting pickles and other such happenings...

  (One week later)

My neglect on this blog of mine can be summed up (and explained) with one very simple four-letter word: sick. Oh yes. We've been sick here. More specifically, I'm still battling the sinus infection that I got 2 1/2 weeks ago. I went to my doctor again yesterday and started a different antibiotic that I've never taken before, and I scheduled an appointment with an ENT to discuss possible repeat sinus surgery. Grrr. 

My little Lily has also been under the weather, although she seems to be almost back to her normal self. So I spent the entire last weekend with her cozied up in bed (as cozy as one can be when feeling ill) watching episodes of "The Babysitter's Club" (I read all of those books when I was in elementary school and still have my collection for Lily when she's a bit older and able to read them) and "The Saddle Club."

Fortunately, due to the tiredness and weakness and everything else miserable that comes with sinus infections, I have had more time to crochet and work on replenishing my stock for sales this fall and winter. I have applied to have a booth at our local Pumpkin Fest at the end of September so I have a lot of work to do over the next two months. So that has been one positive to being laid-up in bed. (I'm trying here.)

The boys went camping for three days mid-week this week. Lily and I had big plans to go to a tea house and do some window shopping. However, since we were feeling a bit under the weather for those big plans we spent Wednesday morning crafting. It was quite nice. She's working on a little girl's felt purse. It was a kit that requires basic embroidery and hand-sewing skills. We worked on it together, as parts of it were a bit overwhelming for her. 

And in an effort to start incorporating more fermented foods into our diet (and, quite honestly, spurred on by the massive amount of cukes from the garden), I tried my hand at fermenting cucumbers last week. The first pics are from the first day, before I added the brine. Then the cucumbers simply set on the counter for a week doing their thing, and yesterday was the day of truth. Taste-testing. 

The verdict? Yum.

And it was so much easier than canning. It really was.

Now I'm feeling encouraged to try my hand at fermenting other things. I'm already on the lookout for an affordable crock to ferment some cabbage once it's ready. :)

And so that's our life in a nutshell right now. It's been a summer of repeat sickness, which has been highly annoying to me, but God keeps reminding me that this is just a season. It will pass. And in the meantime, I do what I can (although it doesn't feel like nearly enough to my overachieving mind.) And today's plan is to pull the carrots. I'm pretty sure that they're ready. And the broccoli needs blanched and frozen. And, oh goodness, what am I going to do with all those jalapenos and banana peppers? 

Have a blessed day.


Marie said...

I am so sorry that you and Lily have been sick--hope you two are all well soon. Looking the pictures of the pickles, made my mouth water.
Thanks for your visit to my blog and the kind words. I enjoy looking at all the wonderful things you are making and the beautiful yarn you are using.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

So sorry you've been sick! I hope you can get relief soon. The fermented cucumbers sound interesting. We've been getting lots of cukes lately so I might have to try it!

Unknown said...

Pickle the jalapenos and banana peppers! You don't have to pressure can them as the brine is acidic enough to keep them for months. Equal quantities of water and white vinegar, 1 Tblsp salt and 1 tsp sugar per two cups of liquid (ie one cup water, one cup vinegar), peppercorns, bay leaves for your brine. Blanch peppers either whole or sliced (throw into boiling water and time for 2 mins at boiling point, then immediately drain and put in cold water) then cram into sterilised jars. Top with brine leaving 1/2" headspace, and screw on lids tightly. The hotpack method will seal them and the acidity content will keep them good.

Sandra said...

So sorry you've been sick, we seem to all be coming down with something too. Guess it's going around.

Love the fermented pickles, they look so yummy.

Jen said...

The pickles look so delicious! You are the second person I've heard of using grape leaves. What is the purpose? We went to a living history museum this past weekend and they used grape leaves.

Staci said...

I hope you're feeling better soon. I've had fermenting on my "to try" list and am hoping to give it a shot this Fall. The pickles look amazing! :)

Leslie Kimel said...

So sorry you and Lily have been sick. But it sure sounds fun crafting and watching the Babysitters Club together. I think it's so awesome that you're teaching her to sew. What a great skill to have!

Joy Wilson said...

I love your blog! It warms my soul! What are the grape leaf looking leaves? Did they go in with the cukes? My mother-in-law used to make kraut. My husband says it fills the whole house with an interesting stench for the duration of fermenting.