Just saw some old pics taken of our property pre-berm....and now. Even I am surprised how beautifully that has worked out...........we were so exposed to Skyline Blvd then...the property just sloped down to the highway..... Now? Can't even SEE Skyline.........that's good. Pre Berm, 2003, September: and from another view, then: Great neighbor Dave was building his house that month, and had lots of fill dirt without a home...he GAVE us this fill dirt.....and had his guy drive it down and dump it: And from THAT, WE had to fashion a berm along the driveway and skyline: And this pic taken THIS month seems to show things worked out.....WE are happy:
So. Pickling's outta the way. Dilled Beans done. **This weird summer has been very slow to begin harvesting enough Tomatillos to make salsa......but in the last week....I finally had enough on hand.... SO. Tomatillo Salsa Batch 1 came through yesterday. Of course.... get it all in one place.....ready to mix it up: It's always a bit fun to make some batches a little warmer than others.....for #1 batch this year, there's a habanero, some cayenne flakes and the rest all serrano...may be a warm batch! It's always fun when you have some peppers from the garden to use: At the start of the cook: And 20 minutes later: And 10 minutes after that, we're all done: I'm in Salsa making mood now.....c'mon summer, help me ripen some more Tomatillos.
Once again! We made it. We were back to our normal "crew", all visitors canceled "claiming" they written assurance their would be even enough pay for the days work to justify the trip here. I can also see "next" year, we're going to have to make sure Rodger's in MORE of the pictures...he TOOK all of them, and we obviously didn't think about getting him to 'star' in a few! 🙂 Oh sure, some prep work began earlier (see earlier blog post).....and the day before cousin "J" came up for a while to help clean and trim the cucumbers, and get a start on peeling garlic...that was a great help.....we even had time for a great lunch at John St Cafe with Bhakti!!!! **they had my all-time favorite dish special that day, you MUST try it sometime: "Short Beef Ragu with Pappardelle Pasta & sauce" . . yum. and of course..... Friday night, a little "inspection" of things in general always show up a little list of things to get done............ THEN........... Saturday morning! 0830 hours! Nancy Minor arrived first and was ready to work! Soon J & Bhakti were there and, as always happens, getting that first batch or two going, is a bit awkward until our "flow" kicks in, and we get into a smooth operation.....after all THIS crew's been working together for a few years now.......... (we ALWAYS remember J's mom, Nancy Purvine who began this little pickle mission years ago, but passed away from a Mursa virus ....we ALL still love to share our memories of her on this day............ **and of course, that's how J and Bhakti got into this task...they inherited their "position" !!! Hah. First issue to find was: SO MANY of these cucumbers were awkwardly LARGE so getting them stuffed efficiently into the jars was going to be a little tougher than normal....... NOTE TO MARK for NEXT YEAR: **DO NOT arrive at the Pumpkin Patch down on the Island right at 0900 opening....all the produce that's out is the stuff that didn't sell yesterday...... ya gotta go a little later than 0900....10:30 OR 11:00 NEXT YEAR...... So the crew awaits El Marko's prep of the 1st brine batch..... just who is it we're gossiping about says J ? 🙂 So here we are before the first batch, getting into production: ....peeling, trimming, packing, measuring, and on and on: Yep, THIS year, picking out the right cucumbers was a little harder task since they were large: and just a few hours later, and a great lunch at Helvetia Tavern (cheeseburgers for all!!!)....the jars are getting lined up for Rodger's Photo Studio to photo the result: Our Boss, Ms. Nancy M must ALWAYS approve whether the lineup is perfectly set: AND.......I'm not sure this crew looks as tired as we might actually be.....but we're a proud bunch by 3:30 pm: Now, Mark, make notes about what went right this year, and reminders what to get ready for next year!
Just a couple pics of the famous Grandma Ray Pickle Day for cousins..... a day or two AHEAD of the event....not so cute...but there is a bit of work required to get things ready. Ah! Jar Lids....Yes, count 'em twice....make sure you have both lids & rings enough for the "planned" count: . . Ah! Don't forget...if you're pickling, you gotta "brine" those cucumbers for a day...so I've got the brining tubs washed, and they're ready for duty beginning tomorrow: . Ah! The Quart "wide-mouth" jars....make sure you have enough for the "plan"...and sometime tomorrow, get 'em opened up, and ready for sterilization: . Ah! Sure....the labels could "wait"....but THIS is the Grandma Ray (youngest of 17 kids...yes, she was "spoiled" as a child).......who introduced us to this snack food, and always made enough right out of her hillside garden so EVERY one of her kids (6) had more than enough pickles on hand for a year (or 3).......... . . Okay. Back to the housecleaning and right now, out to water a dry veggie garden............. Busy Week.