Category Archives: Canning & Preserving

Reflections of What Made You Who You Are ~Letters from the Heart #atozchallenge

Dear B,

Well you have absolutely done it again. Picked a topic which takes a lot of deep thought and contemplation. How in the world will you get this post done in time? There’s much to do…cooking, cleaning …. and calling your mother.

You may have to cheat just a little.

Why do you write ?  Have a gander right here.  When you get a chance maybe you should update that.

Writing has always been a hobby but at one point there was a time you wanted to be famous.  Remember that terrible book you had so many issues with?

It’s more fun to just have a place to ponder your thoughts and write whatever you want instead of what people tell you to write.

When you get sick of writing let your creativity explode in the kitchen. You always have something tasty going on over there.

Tall Cool ☺ne and you have such a fairytale to tell, not to mention the on-going journeys and never ending projects. My, my, you are a busy little thing aren’t you?  Just a face in the crowd baby, a face in the crowd.

Now, in perfect fashion, you have decided to take on that opportunity you talked about in an earlier post. Good luck my dear. You can do this. You have the inclination and determination it takes to push yourself to reach higher goals. If you are comfortable, you are not challenging yourself. Remember that, and when the going gets tough, get a cup of coffee and the tough will get going.

You just realized you don’t have a blog for the kids and grandkids.  You need to build a site for them….one more thing to add to your to do list.

until next time your constant and faithful,

Gardening ~Letters from the Heart #A2ZChallenge2021

 


Hey Bob:

(That’s just a little inside joke. When you call your mother, that’s how she answers the phone. ☺♥)

When the list was made for the “theme reveal” your letter about gardening was meant to be just that. Out in the garden, planting green beans, and cucumbers and tomatoes and all those fun vegetables that you and Tall Cool ☺ne love to eat through the summer and then can/preserve the abundance for later consuming.

After the past few days of self-reflection, gardening has taken on a new perspective. Think of it in a metaphorical sense. Maybe you need to go weeding.

Sometimes what we see as good and pretty is actually destroying what is healthy. For example the wisteria in the back yard is beautiful when in full bloom. The scent is a little over-powering but the flowers are gorgeous.  Unfortunately the plant itself is invasive. When Tall Cool ☺ne cut it back (to your dismay) azalea, camellia and gardenia bushes were revealed.

 

 

Sometimes giant pretty things need to be destroyed to reveal healthy little things.  What is in your life that needs weeding? What looks big and pretty that is covering up small and healthy?

Food for thought.

your constant and faithful,

 

How’s everyone’s challenge going? Are you all having a good time? Visiting lots of other blogs?  I’m trying to visit five new blogs each day but it’s not Have you ordered a t-shirt yet?  Have you found all of the letters so far in the scavenger hunt?  Don’t forget to check out the master list and select a few that you may not normally visit. Most of all, have fun! ♥

ZaRex





If you grew up in Maine in the 70’s you know all about ZaRex. Generations of New Englanders have enjoyed ZaRex since its introduction in the late 1930s. Zarex flavored drink concentrate has been a New England favorite for over 50 years.

It was a simple mixture: 1 part syrup + 7 parts water for a sweet, flavorful drink. It could be mixed with lemonade, or soda water. It was especially popular on snow cones (shaved ice in a paper cone). ZaRex fruit punches were especially popular at birthday parties.  The colored mustaches of children running around after drinking ZaRex was quite comical.

It appears that it is not being produced at this time but I will definitely keep watch. You can too here  BRING BACK ZAREX.   If you hear about it ….do let me know where to find it.

 



Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Unicorns

You didn’t really think it was going to be unicorns did you?   ☺  The thing about Unicorn cookies, you can make any flavor you like… it’s just a package of gelatin!

 

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3 oz. package of cherry flavored gelatin
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. lemon rind (optional)
2 eggs
1½ tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1½ cups cooking oats
Preheat oven to 375º. Place rack in center of oven.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, gelatin and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs, orange rind and cherry extract and beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and cooking oats together and gradually add to mixing bowl, beating on low and scrapping sides of the bowl until mixed well.

Scoop by tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheets two inches apart. Bake at 375º for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. Cool one minute then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield 5 dozen 1½-2 inch cookie gems.

Food for Thought:

Use any flavor gelatin for Unicorn cookies.  Unicorn Cookies come in all colors and flavors.  You could even make several batches and mix them all together. 

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip. 

Quarter Finals

I’m going to be quiet today because I know everyone else is taking advantage of the Q word no one wants to hear about anymore. It’s been a quandary for all of us and we are tired of it.

Besides, I have fig BBQ sauce bubbling away in the kitchen and need to get that canned up. But here’s a quick poem to make you laugh…


Quarter Finals
Stanley Cup Play-offs

Hockey is my favorite sport
They chuck the puck across the court.

I especially love it when they foul
And when the ref throws in the towel!

When they are down two to one
Three balls, two strikes, oh boy, home run!

Cheerleaders jump and yell with glee
Everyone loves that mean goalie

Peanuts, popcorn and ice cold beer
And people wonder what I’m doing here
Omigosh, wait I think that’s a birdie
Cellphone’s beeping; it’s my friend, Gertie
I love hockey look at that– a hole in one
Instead of that last beer, I should have had none.



See ya tomorrow with the letter R.

Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with this crazy pandemic. Being quarantined means people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new friends/contacts.  Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings.  Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip. 




Mason Jar Friendships



Much like a cupboard of full Mason jars
Or the midnight sky of twinkling stars
A friend is compassionate, funny and sweet
Whilst some encourage in times of defeat
Sharing a story to brighten a frown
Lending a shoulder to the friend who’s down
Great treasure is found when least expected
Friends will stand tall, when one is rejected
Countless secrets, much laughter digested
Friendships depend on the time invested
Shower your friends with love and affection
Guide each other with positive direction
Relationships built on candor and trust
Will stand the test of time, and never will rust
Friendships will age, as does the garden crop
Work will be done, not without a teardrop
Like an old Mason jar filled with treasure
Finding true friendships is such a pleasure

Thanks again goes out to Berta and Rach who made this awesome quilted tapestry for me.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Juniper’s Candy


I’m a day late, and always a dollar short. But better late than never right?

Today is the perfect day for JESUS … HE IS RISEN. Happy Easter everyone!

I’ve often wondered what the little bluish berries are on the tree in our front yard. I never thought too much about them until recently. We have to plan our resources and use what we have accordingly. Here today, gone tomorrow right? In Maine there are weeds that make an excellent side dish to pork chops or chicken. My grandmother could make dandelion greens taste so good. And fiddleheads are my favorite weed treat.

I did a little research and found that the juniper berries are actually used to flavor pork, venison, rabbit and duck. I’m so excited about this and can’t wait to actually try them. I’m going to make some fig chutney and try them in that. I will be happy to share my recipe if it comes out good.

With the times we live in I implore you to take a look around in your yard. What resources are there that you never imagined using?  With the internet at our fingertips research is only a few clicks away. Do it now because like toilet paper, you never know when it might not be available.




Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Eventful Entertainment

With the country in lock-down quarantine mode, people are trying hard to come up with ideas to entertain themselves. I don’t know about you but I’ve seen some pretty ridiculous things on Facebook. Some of the ideas are wholesome and fun. Then of course there’s always a handful of people who are way out there and they have to take things a little too far. Then again, you can’t really believe everything you read on Facebook, even if they do have pictures.

Our eventful entertainment consisted of back-breaking, sun-burning strenuous digging in the garden. Planted rows of beans, tomatoes, peppers, beets, zucchini, squash, and I think there were some other fun packages of seeds thrown in the mix as well. Even my little spice garden had some leftover spices and lettuce from the year before. If this thing continues on, we will at least have some fresh vegetables in the next few months. And hey if worse comes to worst, there’s pasture of cows across the street. There’s nothing quite like a grilled steak with a fresh garden salad.





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

Canning with Crackerberries

Want to know what you will find in this book? Pickles, relishes, tomatoes, preserves, jams, jellies, and whole chapter of hodge-podge recipes. Recipes that have been passed down through they years. Just like grandma used to make.

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This book is dedicated to the men and women who toil in their gardens and sweat in their kitchens and labor over the fruits and vegetables their hard work has produced.

Here’s to you!

Love your harvest!

Printed version will be available soon, but if you just can’t wait, the Kindle E-book can be purchased HERE.

 

 

 

Books by Crackerberries

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Blackhorse 2015

A regime of conspiracy, racketeering, and treason within the United States Military. The US Military is no longer what it used to be. After supervising military intelligence on Blue Duck Island Army Base, Sergeant First Class Jon Hunter is less than a month away from retiring to his hometown of Winston-Wisdom. Before he can enjoy his plans of fishing and skiing Sergeant Hunter has one more mission.

 

coming-soon       BookCoverPreview

Flowers for Elizabeth (under review)

A mother and daughter’s rocky relationship is put to the test in this poignant tale. Find out what happens when the grandmother babysits for young Elizabeth. She just wanted to help her G’ammy in the garden.

 

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Mildred the Strawberry Moose

What happens when a group of forest animals come together and help a fellow member in need?  Find out in this whimsical children’s bedtime story. Filled with pictures and lots of favorite forest creatures.

BookCoverPreview (5)                                        coming-soon

Canning with Crackerberries

The best thing about walking into a kitchen is the smell coming from the pot on the stove. Here you’ll find a collection of old-time canning and preserving recipes from pickles to jams.

 

If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the book and you will be directed to the appropriate online purchasing page.

Cheers.

Who’s Coming to Your Cook-Out?

bean fire                             grilling sp

“The beers’ on ice, the tea is extra sweet and the grill is smoking. Plenty of burgers, hot dogs and chicken for everyone so make sure you have a big appetite. But save room for dessert because your grandmother has made an apple pie, banana pudding and strawberry shortcake and a whole table full of cookies.”

My grandfather could get anyone excited about anything, even the simplest things. My grandmother said he could lure a hibernating bear in with his cooking on the grill.

We never knew who would show up for the afternoon cook-outs. We just did whatever we were told: go get the ice from the big freezer in the barn and restock the buckets of beer, go in the cellar and bring a few more jars of bread and butter pickles that were canned the year prior. We always had plenty to keep us busy and out of trouble.

I always watched to see who would show up. Sometimes it would be the rich people from the other side of town just coming over to make fun of what my grandfather was doing. Most times it was just relatives and good friends. They came, arms filled with bowls of potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelons and many other mouth-watering treats.

Today the first visitor was a bony older man with wispy, thin white hair. He was dressed in white from head to toe; white shirt, white pants, white shoes and he even wore white gloves. My grandmother told me that he dressed that way because he worked on type writers and it was very important that he keep clean so when he went to work on them, there would be no dust or anything to ruin the keys. I think she made that story up. He was just so strange-looking and I never noticed him eat a thing.

An hour later while making a trip to the barn to fetch some more ice I saw a little girl named Cecilia Pinto. She always wore out-dated ragged clothes and she looked like she didn’t own a comb or a brush. Everyone made fun of her at school and no one wanted to be her friend (me included). Some people said she got lice and after that she never had any friends. She was with a man somewhat skeletal with a drawn in face. He wore a green Army coat and his hair was stringy but combed back with some sort of Brylcreem or something similar. He was a strange cat that would walk and stop every few feet or so and put his index finger up to an imaginary chalkboard and he would seem to be carrying the numbers of some complex math problem. For me I thought quite interesting to watch him but didn’t want to be caught staring so tried my best not to.

As I was stuffing my third hotdog into my face I saw Bobby. He was known around town as the freak of freaks. He had Tourette syndrome and would go off at a moment’s notice on a tirade of explicit language filled with vehement. I thought it was funny. He walked around town always in a hurry and occasionally he would look back and brush away the imaginary people he seemed to constantly have following him.

My grandfather walked up to every one of these eccentrics and made each and everyone feel welcomed and at ease. He offered them the comfort of his home and did not judge them for their idiosyncrasies. I thought they were a wayward group of minorities and I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. They were just weird.

Later that day after everyone went home; my grandfather asked me what I thought about our special guest. I didn’t know what he was talking about. “What special guest?” I scoffed. “We didn’t have any special guest!”

“Oh, but we did,” my grandfather spoke with such wisdom. “Today, Jesus visited our cook-out.”

“No-saar!”

“Oh, but yes, He did, more times than I think you realize. You see, he was the man with the wispy hair, the little girl who didn’t own a comb, the counting man, the man who spoke obscenities’.”

Isn’t it interesting how people can exist in the background of our survival and we can live our lives not even acknowledging them or giving them the time of day? They stick out in our mind and we remember them, not for anything great that they have done, but for who they were. Nevertheless, we shy away from people like them because they are not like us. They are different.

Our human nature is to crave attention and appreciation. We all crave to have a pat on the back or an occasional “Atta-boy”. The people mentioned above got plenty of attention, but not appreciation; laughed at, pointed at, ridiculed, made fun of, mocked. Most likely not the attention they craved.

My grandfather spoke with such wisdom. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels, that’s Hebrews 13:2,” he recited from memory. “Obedience to His word will gain us much wisdom and knowledge.”

I couldn’t wait for the next BBQ!

The Red Horned Green Monster

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It was a beautiful sunny day and I was out in the garden pulling up weeds.  I saw this very interesting creature on one of my tomato vines.  It was a lime green large caterpillar of sorts, with a red horn at one end of it.  It was some what leathery looking with white strips and little black dots.  I had never seen anything quite like it.  I left it basking in the sun on my tomato vine thinking this would be cool to see it transform into a beautiful butterfly.  I went about my business of pulling weeds in the garden.

The next day I was out in the garden and I noticed my tomato plant.  It reminded me of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.  I quickly began to inspect it for bugs but all I could find was the beautiful leathery caterpillar.  After a little research on-line I found this little critter is very damaging to tomato plants.  So much for raising a beautiful butterfly; it went straight to the chicken pen.  After it oozed out this purplish inky goop from where the horn was, a couple of chickens fought over it, pulled it in half and munched it down.  I assume the ink stuff was some sort of defense mechanism and I was a little concerned for the chickens that ate it hoping they were not poisoned.  They wiped their beaks off in the dirt and went about their normal scratching and pecking business.

We are similar to that caterpillar in a sense because we have the capability to destroy everything that comes in our path. Wicked people plot deception in which the innocent are captured and victimized.  From what I gather, the caterpillar eats everything in its path until it cannot eat anymore and then it burrows into the soil and remains under ground through the winter going through a metamorphosis.  In the spring it emerges into a moth.  It transforms into something not as destructive as it once was.

God created every single creature for a purpose, though I haven’t figured out what for the cockroach/palmetto bug? I understand the tobacco hornworm which has a red horn; the tomato hornworm has a dark green/black one. Both consume tomato plants—and become large dramatic moths that are important pollinators of night-blooming flowers. But I don’t care about their good habits, because their big babies really can defoliate tomato plants almost overnight.

The red horned green monster destroyed several of my tomato plants throughout the summer.  There were more than one of these little creatures and every one I caught I fed to the chickens.  These caterpillars reminded me that once God gets a hold of our hearts the renewal of our mind is transformed into a new creation.   Okay, so the ones that I caught a hold of transformed into chicken feed, but you do get the idea, yes?

We may not like all of the creatures that He created and we may question for what purpose it was created.  We may even feel this way about people sometimes.  I know I do. As I reflect on the green leathery caterpillar with the red horn, I am reminded how I thought it was pretty at first.  But then I saw how destructive it became.  Once it turned into a not so pretty moth, it was not as destructive any more, in fact it became important to the night flowers.  We should remember that people can sometimes be the same way.  They may be really pretty on the outside but inside they are full of destruction. And just the opposite, really crude on the outside, but inside is a big pussy cat.  Everyone is born that way; it is inherited by nature.  But God made everyone for a purpose and once He gets a hold of a heart, the metamorphosis can begin.

 

Stimulating the Taste Buds

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(click picture for tour)

Mercer House Estate Vineyards — Taste and Sensory Evaluation

               This was my first experience of wine tasting. I am very thankful to Melony Stuckey for inviting me. I’m also grateful for the warm welcome extended by Shannon and Kim Mercer for allowing me to visit and share in the tasting opportunity.

We entered into a large portrait studio, restructured into a comfortable wine tasting room with tables set up with plenty of munchies. Cheese (from a local goat farmer) and crackers, veggies and Kim special blend of Saba. Let me tell you about the Saba, a gourmet condiment sauce made out of muscadine grapes, the first of its kind.

Kim says, “Most people like it on meats and salads, but Shannon likes his on ice cream.”

I had some on a cracker, a piece of crusty bread, and some different vegetables. So tasty and would be outstanding on any kind of meat. I wouldn’t recommend it on ice cream. (I meant to buy some before I left, but I guess after all the wine, my mind was in a different place). I’ll definitely be back.

We started with a Hattie 2011 Vintage. Hattie is named after a Greyhound Shannon had. This was a very full body red wine with good taste. I gave it an 8.

“Sweet wine and chocolate go good together,” says Shannon. “Chocolate comes from a tree and therefore it’s a vegetable.”

The second wine we tasted was another version of Hattie 2013 Vintage. Now this one was quite a bit different than the previous. We all sipped and puckered our lips up. I suggested it may be good on collards, or perhaps cucumbers.

The labels for the wine must go through an approval process before they can be used. Shannon and Kim are still waiting for the red tape process before their license to sell wine is approved. Most of the wine labels were created by artist, Melony Stuckey. She has a great talent at designing images that stimulate the mind. It’s like a double whammy with the explosion of taste you get when you try one of the Mercer Estate’s fine wines.

Kim makes a muscadine wine jelly out of some of the different wines. There was some discussion on which vintage of Hattie it was actually made from. It was a very good jelly that would taste so good on some homemade warm biscuits. Yum!

The next wine that was shared in our glasses. Oh I should say in the beginning of wine tasting there is a new glass for each taste. By now we are just wiping out with a napkin or shaking the glass into the “vinegar vat”. I wiped my glass out with my tongue…no sense in wasting fine wine. We had a Sally Mae 2011 Vintage. Sally Mae was named after a Dalmatian. It was a little flat.

“At this time I won’t sell them in a store.” Shannon says.

There are many variables that effect the wine making process. Right now the vineyard is going through many changes, and under construction in more ways than one. Shannon explained how they have recently tried a new way of pruning the grapevines. After touring through one of the yards, he was very impressed with the outcome of the new pruning technique. With the weather and conditions constantly changing, new techniques are part of the routine process for Shannon in managing the vineyards.

The next wine we tried was a Mal’et 2013 Vintage pronounced ma-lee. I add this in because with my accent I want to call it “my lay”. This is named after a terrier-poodle mix of a mongrel dog that Shannon loved. This was my favorite. It has a very full body red wine taste with a little fizzy sparkle. Yes I could drink gallons of this tasty wine.

There is a battery of barrels, all different woods, coming from Italy. It takes 25 years to brew a good balsamic and Mercer House Estates will be the first to produce a muscadine balsamic.

Our next taste comes from Neal-Anne, which is an interesting story about the image. Apparently the praying mantis would land on both Shannon and Kim while they were out in the vineyards. They decided to use their middle names for this fine wine, which would make an excellent table wine, if you ask me. I gave it an 8.

Bottles without labels are referred to as ‘Shiner’s’ (because moonshiner’s never labeled their bottles. We tried one of these which was a strawberry and raisin blend. Very sweet. Would make a good jelly wine. It was quite new and if it has a little more time to age, it will be an excellent blend. Not sure if they have a name for that one yet. Kim mentioned the song by Deana Carter. Of course we remember that song! Who wouldn’t?

We tried Adele 2013 Vintage. This hummingbird label was illustrated by Bob Hickman. The wine is a very tasty fizzy red. I liked it, but I can’t remember what I rated it. My notes have become a little hard to understand.

We toured the Barrel Room. It was filled with an assortment of 5 gallon bottles of wine in the making. They go through a three stage process of racking to clear the wine. Egg whites are used to help settle the particles in the wine. Apparently in the Old World, ox blood was used as a fining agent. It became illegal when Mad Cow Disease was discovered.

There were several more samples that we had the opportunity to taste. All were different and tasty in their own way. One of the reasons Shannon says he wouldn’t be able to sell in a store is because wine consumers find something they like, and they expect it to be the same the next time they buy it. Because conditions are ever changing so are the flavors of Mercer House Estates wines.

If you have the opportunity to visit Mercer House Estate Vineyards, you will meet some very nice people, and your taste buds will not be disappointed. Right now they are waiting for the license to be approved to sell wine, but they have many other items available. Visit the website at www.thefosteredvine.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MercerWine.

 

~Cheers.

 

 

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

Mason Jars

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Golden Harvest, Ball, Knox, Kerr and Ideal
All come with a cover when boiled should seal

Nostalgic green and blue come with a hinge
Plain or etched letters; decorated fringe

Contemplating lifestyles near and afar
My mind slumbers on the old Mason jar

So many treasures this antique will hold
Pickles and relish, some sweet and some bold

Blueberry-fig preserves and marmalade
Homemade strawberry jam like Nana made

Dried beans, neatly lined on the window sill
Spare pocket change, patience it will soon fill

Great is the Mason jar in every size
Open it up to discover the prize.