Monday, July 20, 2009

in a pickle

I've been awake since 3:30am. I went to bed a little too early, and had a night frequently interrupted by the peculiarities of my family -- at one point I fled the bedroom for fear of being asphyxiated by the fumes of whatever it was that didn't agree with my husband. This with two windows open and a fan on. On at least two other occasions I was awakened by my son, who had a restless, dream-filled night himself. At 3am he was up and at my bedside: "Mommy, I dreamed about the train, and there was lots of beeping!" (Harper won't ride the lightrail because of the warning note that sounds each time the doors close. It is obnoxious, but I suppose that's the point.) So after an hour of laying in my kid's bed, waiting for him to settle down and feeling thankful that I had a reason for exiting my own bedroom, I found myself worrying over the many issues and uncertainties at work. And gave up on sleeping.

I read the email, read the paper (NYT and Strib), checked in on Facebook. Had a bowl of Life cereal and half a trail mix bar. Now here I am. Nattering. Listening to the aggressive cardinal, or whatever it is, yammering away in the back yard.

I made refrigerator pickles yesterday. We had a misadventure of sorts at the Farmer's Market on Saturday (left too late like we always do, couldn't locate a good parking spot, had trouble finding the right sized cucumbers for a decent price, narrowly escaped a parking ticket as we were leaving. Lots of whining from the spouse, who wants to write a letter to the city about the crappy parking situation down there. Good news: a terrific and cheap leather bag, and roasted corn on the cob for breakfast - YUM.) We got the dill and the cukes, but I didn't get around to locating my mason jars until yesterday after church -- and then found that many of these had gone missing, leaving me with only a handful of quart jars with rusty lids. My fault really, it's been a couple of years since I "put anything up." So, off to the co-op, where I'm thinking to pick up some soap at the same time as the jars. Except, the Co-op has stopped selling the jars. Dammit. (And earlier in the day my husband had declared this to be a day of No Driving.) SO, off to Roundy's, where I get jars, spare lids, pickling salt (forgot I needed it), more vinegar, etc etc.

(Ron stopped at Home Despot, where he picked up a new toilet paper holder to match our recently "updated" fixtures -- he then spent the entire afternoon swearing in the john, first taking an hour to pry off the old holder, then taking another hour to install the new one, which is so crooked now that the toilet paper roll doesn't spin too well. Good thing the kid was helping me in the kitchen, given the cursing and general foulness there next to the toilet.)

Anyway, spent the afternoon in the kitchen with my son, who is a handy pickling assistant and keen on anything that smacks of industry -- we were "the pickle factory" on Sunday. Mechanization is where it's at with my kid, and the key to any endeavor is to do it fast, with lots of tools. Scrubber for the cukes, sink-sprayer for the cukes, loading of the jars with dill and cukes and seeds and garlic and whatnot...lids and rings and neat rows of jars on the table, waiting for their brine. He was in heaven. Hope they turn out.

Here's a snapshot of my friend Sara and her little girl, caught out at the Northeast farmer's market (the little one, where the prices were a full buck lower on green beans.)

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