Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Secret Family Recipe

It was a busy night in the kitchen. After Ava goes to bed, I become a little elf, furiously crafting, painting, cooking, sewing, cleaning and busying myself with all of the things I set aside while she is awake. I have come to pride myself on my clean kitchen, laboriously cleaning up after each meal and sweeping almost constantly. (we do have a small human living here, who is crawling with wonderous speed, yes, on the floors, so I feel I must do my part to ensure she has a healthy living environment.) Or maybe I just have obsessive compulsive disorder, manifesting itself as a germ issue. The jury is still out. The picture below illustrates how un-clean my kitchen was when I was done with last evening's frenzy. I think I was a bit out of control. My husband will tell you that I am always out of control-"frantic" I think he calls me. Regardless of what my husband thinks of my fabulous preparedness skills, I decided it was time to think about holiday gift giving-you know, because it really is right around the corner... and one wants to be ready. We decided to make all of our gifts this year, and my parents had just generously let us take our fill from their garden. We gathered a basket of cucumbers, fresh dill and I set about making the now famous "Pleasant St. Wicked Violent Tartlin' Dill Pickles" that I made for the family last year. I have still not heard the end of the requests for more. I would share the recipe here, but you see, it is a secret family recipe, as in, it is a secret from the family. I decided last year that in order to make these THE family pickles, I would have to ration their distribution, you know, build up the demand by limiting the supply. So it has come to be that these pickles will only be made for the holidays. I know a thing or two about supply and demand, my past life was spent in sales.
Before my husband could come in the kitchen and exclaim, "Get a HOLD of yourself!" as he will, when I am, well-frantic, I whipped up 12 jars of pickles and just for fun, had my try at my first batch of strawberry jam. I finished canning the 12 jars of jam when my dear husband came in from the garage and saw the mess I had made. He looked left out, if only for a second. He scanned the room, noting my ruined (yes, another one) T-shirt, strawberry jam spackled fore arms and the smell of pickles in the air.
"What am I going to make for Christmas?!?" he asked, sounding so dejected that I actually felt sorry I had not included him in my cannery activities. I assured him that he would find just the perfect moonshine recipe, or other home brew to rival last years "Old Hag" that is still causing lapses of memory for folks even today.
I spent the wee hours until midnight undoing the mess I had made while we discussed the impending holidays. I love the late, wee hours we spend planning, plotting and scheming our creations.
It was a busy night in the kitchen to be sure.

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