Back when I was first married to C's dad and thought playing Betty Crocker might be the secret to a happy marriage, I used to have a big garden and I'd snap beans, shell peas, husk corn, can tomatoes and pickles, etc. in the summer heat. Then I got real and discovered sweating in a 100 degree kitchen made no one happy.
For some reason I began to miss gardening and the satisfaction of eating something I'd raised myself. This year we planted a small garden behind the new garage. Mostly it's a pepper patch. I think there are 18 plants bearing 5 different varieties of peppers. 4 cucumber plants, 1 acorn squash, 4 eggplant and 10 tomato plants keep the peppers company. The acorn squash was mine alone and it was so beautiful. Someone/thing stepped on it right as the squash began to take shape so no squash for me.
The eggplants and rainbow peppers were acquired by Christopher but I don't believe he's even seen the garden since the first watering. They are looking a little frail from this godforsaken heat but the peppers, Todd's peppers, they are coming on like gangbusters back there. Cucumbers and tomatoes are also producing a bumper crop. This will be my third weekend of slicing, dicing, and canning. Today I am trying a refrigerator pickle recipe. It's over 100 degrees outside so pardon me if I don't heat up the kitchen by boiling insane amounts of water.
My grandma used to make the best sweet pickles but the process was like being chained to the kitchen. I think they took 7 days and I remember we couldn't go anywhere or do anything because there were cucumbers in various stages of the process every day for what seemed like forever. The end result was so good that I'd eat a quart at a time while watching cartoons.
My aunt gave me the recipe in my grandma's handwriting when grandma passed but I wasn't gifted with her patience. 7 days is just too long to baby a pickle along. Maybe when I get to be a grandma I'll give it a go. Right now I doubt my boss would understand if I told him it was time to take the plate off the pickles in the crisper and stir them around.