Monday, June 12, 2017

Eat Your Veggies! Pickle Them Too!

Suddenly I am overwhelmed with produce. The process of pickling going on in the crock on the counter is on Day 11 and I just drained the crispy, salty cukes and covered them with boiled cider vinegar which has six cups of sugar dissolved in it along with spices. In the next two days I'll drain and reboil the pickling concoction and add THREE MORE CUPS OF SUGAR TO IT and on day fourteen, I will can them. Or jar them to be more accurate.

I have a gallon ziplock of green beans in the refrigerator as well as a gallon ziplock of the small eggplants. I have the field peas I shelled yesterday AND I have enough cucumbers to probably fill the canner again.
Holy Vegetables, Batman!

I was going to make an eggplant parmesan tonight but ran late with stuff I was doing and don't have time to salt and drain the little beauties, make the sauce, bake the eggplant, combine all of that with cheese and bake all of that. So. I'll do that tomorrow. Tonight I think I'll cook the field peas.
Why am I telling you all of this? No one cares!

And in the midst of all of this I am trying to book a place in Asheville so we can go and visit our darlings who are there which is involving missives back and forth via email between me and the "host" of the place concerning price. And cook the supper. The field peas are now on the stove just simmering away. And I am thinking about all of the peas I'm going to have and all of the picking I'm going to need to do and all of the preserving I am going to need to do and how when I go out to pick, the fucking bugs bite me and then I'm itching so hard that I want to scratch until my skin comes off and besides all of that...
Oh hell.
It's all too much and none of it amounts to a hill of beans.

I need a wife.

Don't we all?

Let me say that I went to the library with Lily and the children today and we had a good time. Owen wore his Harry Potter cape that I made him and carried his owl and when we got there, a man that I've known forever and ever gave me a hug and Gibson said, "Who is that man?" Maggie has learned a new trick which is that when Owen says, "One..." she says, "Two!" and he's trying to teach her three. After the library we went to China First and Gibson had to go to the bathroom and so I took him and he graphically described every second of his experience which was fine until someone else came in the bathroom to use it.
"Honey," I said, "You don't have to talk about it. Just finish up."
And I sighed with the weariness of the ancient old crone that I am and thought about the hundreds of hours I've spent in public bathrooms waiting for small people to finish pooping.
But I bet when I'm on my deathbed I'll think about that and I will not consider it wasted time.
Okay, to be honest? I doubt when I'm on my deathbed I'll think about it at all.
We'll see. But I won't be able to tell you, now, will I?
One of the eternal mysteries of life.

I need to go make a little cornbread.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Wait, what, you're not going to blog from your deathbed? About poop? How disappointing!

    I love eggplant parmesan though. Maybe I should make one too.

  2. I am half way through pickling walnuts (the process takes 2 weeks), and intend, this year, to pickle Plums. I've not pickled Plums before, so will be interested to see the result.

    1. I've never had any pickled nuts, much less pickled any myself! Are they delicious?

    2. We pickle the whole green fruit, before the wood has developed inside. They are an 'acquired taste'; wonderful with strong cheese.

  3. I HOPE you're not thinking about that on your deathbed, wasted time or not! This pickling sounds like quite a process. I have never canned anything in my life and I don't think I ever will, but I admire people who do!

    1. Which leads to the question which must be asked...WHY DO I DO THIS?

  4. Turning to you for sage advice again - I planted cowpeas and they're doing quite well but I have no idea what I'm doing with them as you're the only reference I've ever had to such things. CAn I eat them when they're green when the peas are defined in the hull, and I need to shell them? Or they can stay on the vine until dried and then I can shell them and store them?

    And how do I prepare them?

    Every so often I get stopped cold and I think: good grief I am so not a Southerner! My ignorance is rather astounding. But that said, I was the same about okra until nine years ago and now it's my best friend.

    1. Oh, definitely eat them when they're still green. Wait until they're very defined in the hull. Try to shell a few and see if it's pretty easy. If it's really difficult, let them get bigger. And sure, you can wait until they're dry and pick and shell them then. I like them better fresh though and they don't take long to cook. And you can blanch and freeze them.

    2. How do you cook them? I've never had them before.


    3. Simplest way to cook them is to rinse them after you shell them, then put them in a nice heavy pan with enough water to cover plus about an inch or so, cover and bring them to a boil with a little salt, maybe a little oil. Simmer covered until they are tender and delicious. If you want a little fancier, cut up a piece of bacon or ham to put in with them and also, a chopped or sliced onion. Soy sauce is a good flavoring for them if you're going vegetarian. Hot sauce for sure if you like hot sauce. Which you do. Sometimes I add extra water and when they're almost tender, I throw in a few palmfuls of rice to simmer with them because rice and beans are beautiful together. Or, serve the peas over rice that you have already cooked. Either way.
      It's all real good.

    4. Honestly- I think your biggest problem is going to be finding the time and patience to shell them. It's a project for sure. I use it as an excuse to watch TV and actually, my husband loves to shell peas. Reminds him of being a boy.

    5. That is likely true bout time/patience this summer certainly so I'll plan to do in moderation -the rest can get tossed to the chickens and the learning process is most important. Sounds super yummy especially with rice. Thanks!

      Approximately how long to simmer them? 30 minutes-ish?

    6. Maybe plan on 45 minutes to an hour, depending on what variety you're growing. I can't be specific. And hey! Do you have any neighbor kids you could pay to shell them? That would be a win for them and a win for you.

    7. I was just thinking - my teenage godson is arriving on Thursday! This will be a project for us!

      I didn't grow too many this year, it was more of an experiment to see how it went. If i like how they taste then next year I can grow a lot more and I will hopefully have more time - plus I do have some neighbor kids who might appreciate it. Goo didea!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.