24 July 2010
Of Pickles and Pick-ups
Last weekend, Sarah and I began the yearly tradition of putting up some of the local produce for the winter. Every year it seems we can a little more, try a few more techniques. This particular summer we decided to give pickles a go. During my recent trip to Michigan, my aunt gave me my grandmother's recipe for bread and butter pickles, a deliciously sweet and tangy condiment that immediately evokes memories of summer for me. We canned pickles last Sunday, working in shifts in her kitchen.
Perhaps a sign of the general number of projects I'm working on at the moment, but I realized that I was sans wide-mouth lids on the way to Sarah's house. The jars clinking together in my backseat would do little good without lids to seal. After calling to inquire about other items, I stopped the Kroger, which does a fairly good job of keeping a variety of canning supplies on their shelves and well stocked at that. While reaching for said lids, a mustachioed gent, whose cart contained three cases of jars, asked if I canned. What proceeded was a fifteen minute conversation about supplies, recipes, and the personal preferences of canning. It was his first time canning, having found a bumper crop of cucumbers in his garden, and he would spend the rest of the afternoon turning them into pickles. I told him of my own impending pickling of the cukes.
"That's cool. I wish I had someone to can with so I could ask questions. Hey, do you think I could have your number in case I don't know what I'm doing?"
I wrote my number on a scrap of paper, wished him the best with his canning adventures, and didn't realize until I reached the car that I had just given out my number in a grocery store. Strange.
He called the next day; all of his jars sealed and lined up on his shelves, as were mine.