You're still here, huh? You've managed to sit through 7 months of my bleating about pickling cucumbers and you haven't retreated into the darkness of blogland. Geez, you're hardcore.
But really, we've had a lot of good times, don't you think?
Let's reminisce with a nice bulleted list, shall we? It's how I like to do things.
- Well, first there was the choosing of the Adopt a Crop where I totally thought the butternut squash was going to win but somehow the pickling cucumbers pulled ahead at the last minute and I was PHEW so glad because whoopsy! I'm not sure I had enough room to grow butternut squash. Yeek. That would have been awkward.
- Then there was the planting of the crop. Oh my yes that was a time. Not a good time, but a time nonetheless. A time when I lost a lot of seedlings to mystery evil bugs and a time when I bailed out of the seed growing business long enough to buy a seedling from the nursery in time to see a new cucumber seedling fighting its way into the garden. My hero.
- Then there was the not dying. Which, ironically, was one of the most exciting parts of the process because it was the hardest to defeat. I'm not sure why plants' first inclination when reaching my garden is to wilt dramatically and then fake their own deaths, but the cucumbers were no different and there were times when I think they also stunted their own growth to spite me. Yes, I feel that cucumbers are vindictive and vengeful vegetables and who can really blame me? They have spines after all.
- Then there was the first cucumber on the plant. Oh my, what a moment. When the plants that had previously tried to curl up and die a quiet death while flipping me the bird suddenly perked up and started blooming incredibly prolific amounts of blooms and then also tiny fruits. And they didn't seem so mad anymore about the fact that I'd provided the hunting grounds for the bugs that had annihilated their predecessors. If only we, the human beings, could learn such forgiveness from these fruits. (I such a moon maiden)
- Then the first cucumber came OFF the plant, which was big because even when they're on the plant, they could still get chewed or decimated in one of a million tragic ways, so getting them off the plant is the key. Because then I can mother hen them in my house and begin to thumb through all the pickle recipes like a stalking psycho.
- Then there was the naming of Fluffy, which was a momentous occasion because the winner of the naming contest was none other than Decca who was also the nice woman who married Bubba and I, so this was kind of an interesting full-circle-ish kind of event that made me go awwwwwwwww inside and then laugh out loud because of the porno references. What a perfect bizarre family we make, all of us societal rejects.
- Then there was the first harvest which was sacrificed to a really unfortunate recipe that tasted like, well, a horse's ass. I have not yet had the heart to toss the victims of my first foray into pickling, but the rest of the cucumbers are safe from ever having to meet that end as I've torn out that page of the cookbook so as not to repeat that mistake. Sorry, first crop, you were the guinea pigs in this experiment and you met a distasteful end.
- And, finally, there were the pickles. Oh the glorious pickles that actually looked like the pickles in my mind. How normal they looked all squashed into their salt and dill and vinegar brine like normal pickles would be. All cozy with their one slice of bell pepper which I wanted to ignore in the recipe but got all what if it does some secret necessary thing that will destroy the pickles if omitted and left in after all. WOW. Really so fun to see something turn out right. Even if I did have to follow the recipe really closely to get these results. And they tasted good which was more surprising to me than it should have been.
So what to do now that the pickle's season is over and the space is about to be freed up for future planting?
Oh - sorry if you didn't realize this was also me telling you that the cucumbers have fizzled (thank you Jeph for that reference, it's really the best way to describe what they do) and are about to be unceremoniously yanked from the garden to make way for something new or maybe nothing at all, I haven't decided yet.
Anyway - I thought it would be good to go back to our roots (OMG I'M HYSTERICAL.) with this little experiment and do a little giveaway. Send some pickles on their aforementioned visit from which they will not return.
So - if you voted for pickles or voted for one of the other crops (no one will hold it against you) or you've read all the posts or you're just coming upon this giveaway now because you're that kind of blog whore that just goes around entering yourself in random contests to win pickled produce - leave me a comment with your name and I will choose a winner to receive a jar of Finny's Homecanned Pickles.
Oh, you want this, do not lie to yourself.
I'll give you a bit to do this, say until 9/4, and on 9/5 I will shove all your names into a random winner chooser device and announce the winner right here.
And then we'll probably do some handing over of home addresses and things so that I can ship you your pickles and then maybe you'll not file an indictment for malicious food poisoning against me when you get botulism from my canning methods (Don't worry, I've sampled these pickles and they're perfectly safe.) and instead just really enjoy your pickles with a nice hot dog or something.
Ok, comment away and I'll be back soon with other garden updates and on 9/5, I'll let you know who's getting a Pickle Visit.
That sounds porny. I love this game.
[UPDATE] In the interest of full disclosure, I feel like I should show you a photo of the pickles that would actually becoming for a visit:
See, the ones at the top of the post are the refrigerator pickle spears (pretty good) that I made, but since they're refrig ones and also we've opened them and eaten some, I can't, in good conscience, send them to you. What with our finger germs and what not. SO - the Pickle Visit pickles will be whole dills, properly canned and sealed without the intervention of my cootie fingers.
I hope this is OK, but if you want to back out of the random choosing, you just let me know.
That's all for general disclosures now.