Saturday, September 27, 2008
Busy-ness Can Be A Good Thing
Animal chores are first on the list (mental list) of things to do each day. Some times there is more to it than other days. Today was one of those "more to it days". The milk barn needed some attention and the feed area was messy from alfalfa "crumbs". A couple things were hastily put in a convenient place the night before, rather than in their proper place. I spent some extra time on "Bucky". He is not tame and he is in kinda rough shape. I want to put a collar on him so I can later hook him to a fence while I give him a bath and trim his horribly overgrown hooves. Well, getting a collar on a not very friendly buck is no easy task. I am taking it slow, having him get used to having me stand near him, that sort of thing. This morning I was able to lay the collar across his neck and he left it there. That is great progress. He seems stronger every day too. A bit of some wheat germ oil on his feed has helped too. After the animal chores, it was garden time. Weeded the herb garden a bit, watered it too, and the plants in the pots we need to plant in the ground this weekend. Watered the garden and toyed with the idea of making some rows to plant seed, but decided it was already getting warm and it might work better to do it when its cooler in the early evening. There is wash to be done and some shirts to iron for Emery and then pounds of little cucumbers on the table waiting to be made into bread and butter pickles. That has to be done today. So at the table I sit, chopping board in front of me and my favorite knife for cutting vegetables. My bread bowl, which is huge, is finally full of sliced up cucumbers. Full to the brim. The spices, vinegar and sugar have come to a boil. I carefully pour the liquid over the cucumbers and will have some coffee while it cools a bit. The jars are in a sink full of boiling hot water, ready to pack. The big black speckled canner is on the stove, water dancing up and down inside of it. Ready to go to work. It's just noon time and I have accomplished a lot already. But, more work waits. There are apples to can into apple pie filling and there is Harvest Bread to make later. This busy day, for me is a good day. Hands that kept busy, reap a harvest of plenty.
Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe
from the "Mennonite Community Cookbook"
30 medium sized cucumber (1 gallon sliced)
8 medium sized onions
2 large red or green peppers
1/2 cup salt
3 cups sugar
3 cups vinegar
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon whole cloves
slice cucumbers in thin rings. Do not pare.
Slice onions in thin rings
cut peppers in fine strips.
Dissolve salt in ice water and pour over sliced vegetables.
Let stand for 3 hours and drain.
Combine vinegar, sugar and spices and bring to a boil.
Add drained vegetables and heat to boiling point. Do not boil.
Pack into sterilized jars and seal.
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...