Saturday, September 07, 2013


Like it was yesterday is how vivid some of my memories are of my Grandfather.  He was my next door neighbour, and they called me his shadow.

I was devastated, (still am) when he passed away.  I was in grade 6, and I can sometimes still feel the sting of learning he was gone.

My tractor rides were done, I had no ones knee to sit on when The Price is Right came on.  No more early morning breakfasts at the camp, no more red plaid flannel coat.

What I didn't realize at the time was the incredible amount of memories we had created, the experiences  he shared with me, all very small and simple made very special by him.  I don't remember much of the conversations we had, but I remember being with him.  Getting up early to get to the market before Helens eggs were gone and the buttermilk had sold out.  Working in the gardens and field.  Taking care of his harvests, making sure they were stored properly.  I remember one year being involved in the dill pickle making.  I don't remember what I did to help, but I remember the big white enamel wear dish filled with ice water and cucumbers.  I remember the fresh dill smell, and the strong smell of vinegar.  I remember my Grandmother and Great Grandmother being there and of course, Gramp.

He was known for the incredible things he could make, including his dill pickles, no one could make them as crispy and delicious as he did.

I didn't grow these cucumbers, and I've never pickled anything (other than myself) before, but, when I was at the market and saw the bag of pickling cucumbers, it immediately put Gramp in my head, and I took that as a sign to give it a try.

I have no idea if these will even be palatable, but, I don't really care.  They pulled up some great memories and little bits and pieces I hadn't thought about for a long time.

 Chopped off the "flower end"


 Sanitizing the bottles and lids
 My favourite part, the dill

 dill, garlic, and mustard seeds, waiting for the cucumbers

 cucumbers in

 brine in

 bubbles removed, rims cleaned and covers placed.
 A little bit of boiling, and magically, now no longer cucumbers, but pickles (i hope!)

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