August 2009


In my whole life, I have not eaten any pickle that wasn’t made by my mother.

It’s the kind of pickle that is very sweet; you can’t buy them in the store.

When I eat them, I often think of my mother’s work for us, and I notice each slice as if her hands cut it just today.  We treat them like gold.


This year it was my turn to make the pickles.  I spent a lot of time with my mother, in order to decipher the old and simple family recipe–learning, for example, what exactly “two hands of salt” means.  Even so, I had to keep calling her for more details during the week-long process.

First I had to figure out where to buy the large amounts of spices, and also what kind and how many cucumbers to buy.

Then they had to sit in the crock for several days (“STIR THE BRINE UP GOOD WITH YOUR ARM EACH DAY”).

On the Big Day, I had to boil them in THIS; pour off.  Boil them in THAT; pour off.  Boil them again, and finally, put them in jars.

There are enough for my family, my parents, and my brother’s family–just like Mom makes.  But it remains to be seen whether or not they TASTE the same.



I like to “take a break” a few times a day and get my vitamin D by going outside with a cup of sudsy water to collect some Japanese beetles.  It’s a nice excuse, anyway.

This morning I saw this:

It was the only one.