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Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pickle Infatuation

I know I’m being a bit single minded about this lately, but I can’t seem to get my mind off pickles.  Perhaps because it’s hot and I’m craving salty foods, or because they’re crunchy and I find they go great with a slice of ham and cream cheese, or because I get a quick blast of cold air from the fridge when I fish them out of the jar, but I’ve been doing nothing lately than thinking about pickles.  I’ve dreamt about finding new cucumber plants in the garden to make them, and I even bothered Facebook friends about them, extensively.  I have successfully made “ice box pickles”, but I decided I wanted pickles year around.  We normally travel state-side at Christmas for a few weeks, so we unplug the fridge and empty it of its contents.  (Which is not easy with Christophe, who loves having a full refrigerator.)  That of course means I sadly have to dump out any remaining pickle juice before I board the plane.

We only have two cucumber plants, so I have to use our cucumbers wisely. Christophe saw me come in the house last night with the four ripe cukes we had and shook his head saying, “So if I understand this correctly, all the cucumbers we have will be pickled?  What’s wrong with fresh?” 

The answer to that is: nothing.  Fresh cucumbers are great, but pickles are just better.  I’ve canned for years now and even though everyone says pickles are easy, I’ve worried about it.  Basically, I just wanted to get it right: a salty brine, a dill-garlic bite, and of course, the illusive crunch.  I completely over-studied the subject.  There are hundreds of pickles recipes out there. (I saw one that took over three days.)  There appears to be no exact science to it, but nothing is worse than a let-down for something you’ve waited for months to open.  The photos are what I’ve got to look forward to once 2013 rolls around. Undoubtedly, you’ll hear about when the jars are finally opened.  Until then, I’ve got my ice box pickles.  I just need to find a good excuse as to where all the sliced ham and cream cheese is going.

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