Summertime Distractions

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The novel is almost finished – or I keep telling myself that I just have that last chapter or two to write.  I’m so distracted.  First it was the bird nest and watching the egg hatching progress.  Soon after that a stray kitten found his way to our doorstep and he has been occupying a lot of my time.  Have you ever taken the time to watch a kitten at play?  They can keep you amused for hours. 

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On top of that, the rain has really brought out the wildlife critters.  I have started a journal of the different animals I see.  The backyard has not only been full of so many different bird species that I can’t name them all, but rabbits and skunks and my not so favorite snakes.  Now they will keep you on your toes and I am learning about the different species and whether they are dangerous or not.  (I keep my distance from all of them, unless I’m trying for a photo opportunity.)

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I can’t forget to mention about the garden and the bounty harvest.  One must be careful when picking vegetables out of the garden.  Not only do the black widow spiders love the green beans, but the turtles find their haven under the cover of the leaves.  Everyone says a turtle is slow, but I’ve seen them walk quickly across the lawn. 

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I am beginning to wonder if I have too many hobbies.  Thought I’d share one of my new recipes.  This year the summer squash harvest is bigger than the cucumber harvest (so far) so, here’s a new update on an old-time favorite recipe.  This is my granny’s secret bread and butter recipe with my update.

Bread & Butter Squickle Pickles

12 cups sliced cucumbers and summer squash

Place in ice water over night

Next morning drain and create three layers in large container with 2 cups sliced onions, and ¼ cup canning salt, ending with salt on top.  Cover with cloth and let stand at room temperature 3-4 hours.  Drain off liquid that forms. 

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3½ cups vinegar

1¼ cup water                                                                   

2 cups sugar

3 tsp celery seed

3 tsp mustard seed

1 tsp curry powder —or—

(Note: I did not have curry powder but I did some research in an old spice book and found out that curry is actually a blend of six or more of the following spices: cumin, coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger, pepper, dill, mace, cardamom, cloves.)

1/8 tsp of each: cumin, turmeric, ginger, dill, cardamom, ground cloves, mace & cayenne pepper.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar and spices in preserving pot and bring to a boil.  Add veggies and bring to a boil again, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.  Pack into hot sterilized jars and seal covers according to instructions and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Yield: 8 pints

© Crackerberries 2013

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