Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fluffy, in all his glory

It's ok. You can look. Don't be shy of my hugeness.
After my first shot at pickles, which came out very mustard-y but not altogether inedible (thank you, Bubba, for eating anything), I was determined to take a more palatable shot at pickling my cucumber crop.

I mean, sure, Bubba will eat these pickles, but will I? Probably not. Because, let's face it, they are brown and make my mouth pucker and I have been doing weird things to them like changing their brine while they sit in the fridge in an effort to bring out a more traditional pickle flavor and, alas, they're getting strange.

Not that it matters, though, since Fluffy put out another crop of Fluffies as soon as I had the previous crop relegated to the depths of the fridge. Good boy!

Some of the Fluffies are larger than others because some of them like to hide in the nasturtium until I get back from vacation.

I will say, that at least from a color standpoint, I am much more hopeful about this batch of pickles.

They are way less brown and alarming looking than the previous batch, and the recipe included dill, which for me is a must-have for pickles. Of all the recipes in my pickling book, only a few called for dill, which I find to be wrong.

I mean, who gives a corny crap about sweet pickles or pickles mixed with carrot coins and beans? Um, no one in my house, I can say that for sure. It is possible that I misspent my $8.49 on this book when it's clear that I'll be using it for maybe two pickle recipes instead of the 40-something in there.

I also don't have plans to pickle any other vegetables (although there will be tomato canning, to be sure), so the whole rest of the book after Cucumbers might as well be blank.

Then I went ahead and made an impulse purchase while at OSH of the Bell Blue Book of Preserving if for no other reason than the fact that their instructions are very clear (read: spelled out simply as though your monkey's uncle were doing the canning) and it was the only thing in the canning section that I didn't already own.

My my, has my life has changed from the time when I would buy a great top in every color at Banana Republic rather than every item in the canning section at a hardware store.


I feel like this book, the one with the newsprint-ish pages and lack of photography, spine printing and spellcheck (oh, the glorious grammatical errors) will probably become the water-damaged, dog-earred, woefully worn bible of my pickling life rather than the glossy, photograph-y, also totally un-spellchecked Pickled.

And while I'm on the subject, what the hell is the deal with these books making it to glossy, hard-cover printing with no evidence of editing WHATSOEVER? Good lord, it is bad. But bad in an it gives me something with which to amuse myself while the water in the canner boils, way. I'll try to find some good examples of what I mean so that we can laugh and point together.

Since I'm so grammatically correct and not making up my own language or anything right here on this blog and everything. Mmhhmm.

SO THE PICKLES are resting in their two quart sized jars and will be ready for sampling in three short weeks. Meantime, I will be peaking in on them in the cupboard because there is scant else that makes me squweeeee with retarded joy like seeing my own canned goods just sitting there on the shelf all We are ready for you in a catastrophe or power outage because look how we don't even require refrigeration and everything.

Come to think of it, I should start canning pie. You know, just in case of emergency.

Please enjoy the not-brown color and the dill in these pickles, all proper like.


  1. Everytime I read fluffy I do a little school girl laugh in my head lol.

  2. I am so sorry, I didn't realize you didn't have the Ball Blue Book. I would have told you to go get it, even if it's kinda plain and un-grammatically correct. ;) If you like bread and butter pickles, make sure to make the one in there, it's our family's favorite. We also like the chili sauce and tomato ketchup (it's not like Heinz, but it's still good). I also like the Watermelon Rind Pickles, but I'm the only one in my family that likes those.

  3. Ball Blue and pickles? AHAHAHAHA!!

    Sorry, I've just aged 20 years and am no longer a 10 year old boy now. Seriously, The Ball Blue Book (heeheehee) is AWESOME. There's even this handy little chart (in my old one anyway) that tells you how much of everything you'd have to grow to feed an entire family of four for a whole year. It's frightening, really. Thank God we don't rely on my canned goods to see us through the winter. It could get ugly.

    Your pickles look lovely, by the way (I'm sorry--I can't stop giggling).

  4. I'm so glad the last commenter made the ball blue and pickle joke so. It's so hard not to call it the Blue Ball Book. Why on earth did they name it that?

    I have it too, and when I read it I have visions of living on a prairie and preparing for the long hard winter.

  5. Canned pie? Oh, now you're talking! *That's* what I'm actually going to want to break into in case of emergency.

    I would totally love to have a shelf in the pantry dedicated to my canning wonders. I have the tools...yeah, but haven't taken a shot at it yet. One of these days.

  6. So maybe someone should go to Blue Ball Pennsylvania and compile an Amish recipe book...the Best of Blue Ball's...

    Any info in those books about making 'salt pickles' or 'new pickles'? They're this interesting little side that is pretty much a salt brined cucumber, which to me is pretty awesome. Something to consider, I think they're a refrigerator pickle as they don't last forever once they are brined. Maybe an option for those surprise 'cukes that appear. ;)

    Yumm, canned pie.

  7. Ok, lame-o here. Can't comment with sympathy and wisdom. Have never canned a damned thing. Can maybe, sorta handle cactus as a plant. Have not only no green thumb but have, in fact, an allergy to dirt, creepie things, and being anywhere outside that doesn't involve chips and frozen strawberry margaritas.

    But apparently I can name cucumbers. Who knew?

  8. Damn girl, you gotta big pickle!


    Mmmmm - canned pie!? I'll take some canned coconut cream pie please. And you say it's shelf stable? Great!

  9. Cool!!! You're just like my grandma. (only with with pickle jokes!)

  10. The Ball Blue Book is the best. I pickled squash last summer and it rocked. I totally know what you mean about the satisfaction of the jars on the shelves. I most often arrange them on the counter when they are supposed to all fragile and not touched but I like the jars to look orderly but not obsessive. Obsessively random perhaps. Anyway. Nice pickles.

    Squash recipe in case your summer squash takes over like mine always does:


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