Bread and Butter Pickles

With the abundance of rain we had in late May here in Weatherford, Texas, the pickling cucumbers got a little ahead of us. Really, they got huge, it seemed like overnight. My practical husband said he would save the day and whipped up a batch of bread and butter pickles with fresh garden onions.

This time around he did not let the cucumbers sit in salt to drain for an hour. They produced a little more liquid, but did not dilute the pickling broth that we could taste and were just as crunchy.

  • fresh pickling cucumbers
  • 1 sliced white onion


Heat the following items to a boil. Pour over sliced cucumbers and onion. Let cool to room temperature for an hour, then refrigerate. Good to eat in a couple of hours, better if they sit overnight. He’s made these twice now and we can’t get enough of them.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (we did not have, so left this out)

Recipe courtesy of The Recipe Girl.

 

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Signs

The strangest of color signs this morning. Our yellow lilies, which have been a frothy yellow tide this spring, suddenly added a cousin with blood-red hues.

Orange Lily

Then as I was drinking my morning coffee, the neighbor’s peacock made a haughty appearance in the yard, complete with Edward Goreyish unearthly cries. Hmmm… a mystery is afoot.

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PC Beauty

The Deer Garden

potatoes160430_0005We nicknamed this sturdy enclosure the deer garden. At ten by ten wide and six foot tall, our local deer have not yet been willing to jump in to eat our vegetable garden. I love our Texas wildlife on our little farm, but I love having fresh vegetables. The thick gauge wire panels have also discouraged the rabbits, raccoons and armadillos that frequent our back yard.

My husband spent yesterday topping off the garden with sweet-smelling pine shavings to discourage the weeds and when hilled will allow more potatoes to develop. A spring garden is a wonderful thing. I am looking forward to real tomatoes (not those horrid grocery store things), onions, strawberries, cucumbers, four different types of peppers, potatoes and yellow squash.Ar14636489521

Closed Door Deer GardenYou may wonder how we came to have such an ominous looking pen as a garden enclosure. A few years back we adopted a stray dog; a full-blood Bassett Hound that we named Sweet Pea. She wandered down the street with our neighbor, who was looking for her owner. My husband, who was not prone to doing that sort of thing, said ” We can keep her.” She looked sweet. But beneath that sad-sack face lay a wounded psyche. Lord knows what mental scars happened to that dog before she came to us, but we found in a hurry that she hated thunderstorms. We had a great, warm dog house in our large back yard where she stayed during the day with our other dog. But if it thundered once, it was all over. Sweet Pea tore through every chain link fence we ever had. She’d either dig and slither under the fence or grab the thick wire and bend it up with her teeth. She’d make a bee line for our neighbor’s house, go in through their dog door and be in their house playing with their dogs. Our neighbors were very understanding. Have you ever smelled a wet Basset Hound?

So, the deer garden enclosure. Purchased at our local farm supply, they said you could keep a lion secure in this ten by ten foot enclosure. We put Sweet Pea and our Dalmatian Jasmine in the enclosure under a small shelter with their doghouses when it threatened rain. It did work, but it made me sad because she struggled so to get out. Even her strong jaws were defeated. When we finally lost Sweet Pea to old age, we buried her on our property just outside any fence. It seemed fitting. That was always where she wanted to be.

The Country – Ever Wonder Why?

Ever wonder why some of us choose to live in the country? Why live away from the malls, restaurants, other people? Why choose to deal with septic tanks, well pumps, raccoons that eat your bird feeders and grasshoppers that eat the screens off your window? Spring mornings like Saturday.

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Soft Green

It is a beautiful time here in Weatherford, Texas. The first soft greens of spring have appeared. Here’s hoping your hometown has a soft, green spring soon.

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The old oaks are budding out.

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Eastern Phoebes planning a nest on our front door frame.
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Black Swallowtails in the yard.
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Our first pond frog has appeared.
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Night visitors. Deer at the water troughs.