Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It Doesn't Get Any Better!


In a message dated 6/13/07 5:34:26 P.M. Central Daylight Time, AOLAlerts writes:
DO you have a good bread and butter pickle recipe you would want to share??? :-)
Wish I were coming to your house for some of that good okra tonight!!! lol
That was from Carlene, in response to the last post.  And the answer is "Yes".
Well, actually, the recipe come from my sister Edna.  And Pete has used it for years to make his crunchy, tasty Bread and Butter pickles. 
4 quarts sliced medium cucumbers
4 medium white onions, sliced
2 green (bell) peppers, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup coarse-medium salt(pickling salt)
5 cups of sugar
3 cups of cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 tablespoons mustard seed
Do not pare cucumbers; slice thin.  Add onions, peppers and whole garlic cloves.  Add salt; cover with cracked ice; mix thoroughly.  Let stand 3 hours; drain well.  Combine remaining ingredients; pour over cucumber mixture.  Heat just to a boil.  Seal in hot, sterilized jars.  Makes 8 pints.
(Tips:  Use only firm, fresh cucumbers.  Never try to double the recipe.  Get out all ice that did not melt before boiling.  Turn jars upside down for 5 minutes after closing them, then turn right side up for a guaranteed seal.)
All these additions and improvements and AOL pictures still can't keep the animation in a gif. ?!  Of course, no one ever asks me what would be most time saving/convenient for me.
Emmy horse is still pregnant.  No colt. Pete's decided she's keeping it to herself.
Thunder rolling outside.  More scattered thundershowers.  Every single day.  Almost too much water for the garden!  Now we are also gathering a few ears of sweet corn, and have picked some peas.  Cooked a big pot of purple hulls and a large skillet of smother-fried okra last night.  Some fried hot water cornbread and a few pieces of steak to round it out. 
Wish you all could have been here the other evening.  It was a perfect time.  Pete's sister Mary and her husband Jim came over about an hour after I got in from work.  They had brought some boudain and some wieners.  (Would you believe that neither aol spell check nor Merriam-Webster have a clue about boudain!!!  I had to use the local phone books listing of a local boudain maker to check the spelling!)  Pete fired off the grill and thawed out some country style ribs and link sausage.  I stuffed some of our good, fresh jalapeno peppers with cream cheese and wrapped bacon around them. 
We cleaned off the old 1950's dinning room table on the front porch.  Pete hung a drop light in the rafters.  And we broke out the old, large, green, dominoes from the pool hall daddy ran once upon a time in Carthage after he had his leg ran over by a dozer.  Plug in the box fan and point it this way!
We shuffled and started a round of 42 while the charcoal was burning down.  Before long, Mary's son and his wife and two young boys showed up.  Hannah had playmates and Bubba had someone to shoot the bull with.  The food went on the grill right after Mary and I beat Pete and Jim in the first game.  Pete pulled a few ears of sweet corn and threw on there too. 
Then we started the next game, and us girls did some high bidding and some quick setting of the men to win that one with the men only having one mark to their credit.  Bubba found the oldies tapes, swamp gold, classic country and Cajun that Pete's mama had made for Pete from the treasure trove of old 45's they had.
Conversation, aggravation, laughter.  One more game of Forty-two.  Seem we almost always play three.  This time we went back and forth and back and forth until the guys finally emerged victorious by one mark.  Get that food off the pit!  Slice some tomatoes.  Cut up some cucumbers.  Where's the plates and the light bread?  Before long everyone is stuffed.  A little cleaning up.  Leave most of that; I'll deal with it tomorrow. 
Soon, things wind down and they begin to saunter on off to home.  Bug is still wide awake, even though it is after 1:00 AM.  It had been a very hot, muggy day earlier.  And I had surely thought of jumping in the pool to cool down.  But too much company.  All that has to be is put away.  Come on Bug, let's go for a late swim!  And we jump in and cool off and relax with a canopy of stars overhead. 
Get out, dry off and ease on toward bed.  Sweet dreams.  It doesn't get any better, people! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well, here I am playing with this new fangled equipment we got in the recent updates.  Things have been interesting around here to say the least.  We've been putting up peppers and making Bread and Butter pickles.  Right now the garden is giving us potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucinni squash, eggplant and a variety of peppers.  Okra is just starting.  Will cook the first cutting tonight.

Emmy horse still doesn't have colt.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  her name is Immaculate Conception but I believe it should be Perpetually Pregnant. 

There has been a steady flow of kids of all ages.  Coming to visit.  Coming to fix trucks.  Coming to swim.  Put to work in the yard or garden.  Fed at the table.

Pete's latest idea of leaving off all sugar and caffeine hasn't really done him any good.  Still suffering.  Planning to make another trip to the doctor.  Thinking of trying a chiropractor.  Any prayers are very welcome. 

A lady who is much the local history buff and a gentleman friend of hers from Beaumont were out in the woods Monday near our home marking the old wagon trail that used to run through there.  Somewhere along the way they got turned around and mixed up.  They decided to split up and each try to find the road or pipeline.  She made it out.  He didn't. 

Park rangers and locals, including Bubba and his friend Brandon.  Made sweeps through the area to no avail Monday evening.  A helicopter search was made just before dark.  Nothing.  Poor man, over 60, in those woods with the mosquitoes, various snakes and muggy weather.  Next day, a more organized search by what looked to be about 30 ranger types was conducted.  Word is they found him okay, but worn.  Took to be checked out at the hospital. 

At workyesterday, we sat for three hours with no electricity because someone ran headlong into a pole that shut of the power and killed several stop lights in the area.  As far as I know there were no injuries.  And thankfully for us the electricity was back on before things got too hot. 

I haven't waxed very contemplative lately.  Been in a soak up the moment and enjoy myself mode.  But you know me; never can tell what will get me pondering, reflecting and posting.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Down on the Farm

Well, here I sit.  Can't believe it has been a month since I made an entry!!  Things got sort of hectic around here.  We had Bubba turning 18 and graduating from High School.  Anyone who has been through it knows it adds a lot of extra stuff to your lives for awhile.  And there was extra work at work.  And Pete and his garden that keeps growing and growing and growing!  And Bug and her pool.  Mom's been getting in with her many evenings to teach her to swim.  She's a great student! 

We've built a fenced in chicken yard.  Pete put a ceiling in it so he didn't have to clip their wings.  And we are all anxiously awaiting Emmy horse's arrival of a colt.  I swear if she gets any bigger she will pop!

Then, after most of the hoopla died down, we lost our phone service for a little over a week.  And of course, no phone, no slow old dial up to sign on and make an entry with.  I've missed you all, and expect to get back in the swim of things.  Hope I haven't worried anyone (Sam).  Daddy's favorite answer for how have you been? seems to sum it up:  Never felt better or had less!  Life is good and we are living large and drinking in every last drop right down to the dregs. 


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