Pank and I have been experimenting with all kinds of heirloom varieties that are GMO free in our garden this year. One thing for sure is that we HAVE to stay on top of things. If we don’t pick daily produce, the plants think it is time to stop producing and they start to wither. Whether we want them or not, we have cucumbers most meals these days. I have made salads, cocktails and this weekend was picklepalooza. Sunday we ate our first tomato of the season. There is nothing quite like a sliced tomato still warm from the sun sprinkled with salt. It never made it to our plates. Pank and I stood at the kitchen counter armed with forks and ate straight from the cutting board. I don’t even think I used my fork. With tomato juice dripping down my arm, I took joy in the simple pleasures of summer!
This summer has been more swamp like than usual for Middle Tennessee. I have been grateful for Worm’s Way and All Seasons Gardening and Brewing Supply Company. Both stores are great resources for organic solutions to my bouts with rootworms and mold. I’m not sure why they call them rootworms. They aren’t worms at all. They are little beetles that first attack the roots of corn and then go for the corn’s reproductive system. The corn plant is both male and female The male tassel is what pollinates the female ears of corn. Without eliminating the rootworms, I will be left with a really knotty ear of corn not worth much of anything. My organic pesticide soap is doing an ok job, but the rain keeps washing it away. So, I have recently learned that nematodes are the best solution. I suspect there is a trip to the bait and tackle shop in my near future. Regardless of the outcome, we have had a ball! In fact, Pank and I agree this has been some of the best fun summer of 2013 has brought us thus far.
Old Granny was my maternal, great-grandmother. While almost completely deaf, she had plenty of stories to share. She is one of the many reasons I have so many stories. Neither my sister nor I chose to have children and my mother is an only child. It seems that our rich history full of stories shall stop with us. For this reason, I am compelled to write. The written word is such a powerful tool to inspire. It is my hope that through my stories, I somehow inspire you. Old Granny always used to say, “Start out like you can hold out!” I think of her often in the garden. Old Granny would have definitely wanted me to hang in there with my rootworm fight. With patience and persistence, I do believe I will win the 2013 bout of the rootworm. Old Granny’s words of wisdom weren’t mere words of encouragement. It was integrity Old Granny was speaking of. This week, remember that integrity should be one of your most important values. Hold it up high with honor. Meanwhile, here is my kosher dill pickle recipe.
|3 lbs. sliced cucumbers (unpeeled)5-8 cloves sliced garlic1 small bunch of dill
5-8 cloves sliced garlic1 small bunch of dill
3 chile de arbol
4 cups distilled water
4 cups white vinegar
4 tbsp sea salt
3 1 quart jars with lids and rings
|Heat jars in a water bath. Bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Place 1 chile de arbol in each jar. Layer garlic, dill and cucumbers. Pack them in pretty tight. Fill jars with liquid up to the bottom rim of jar. Place lid on jar mouth with rings loosely secured. Place in water bath and process for approximately 15 minutes. Place on cooling rack and tighten rings. As the lids pop, you know they are sealed fresh!|