Monday, August 27, 2012

Poisoned Pickles: A Monday Misadventure

I am the worst descendent of Mormon pioneers ever.

And while I'm assuming the half of my family that is LDS comes from "pioneer stock" -- and even if they don't in the strictest sense, I'm sure these ancestors moved somewhere, sometime in history, so I'm counting it --  I know for certain that if I spent time in a covered wagon or a handcart or even a log cabin on some homestead, I'd unintentionally kill my theoretical olden times family and neighbors through poisoned jam and pickles.

It's okay though, because canning is overrated. Don't try to convince me otherwise because it's useless -- I grew up in a family that gardened and canned and I still know I'm right. I'm going to continue making my freezer jams, freezing my peaches, and knowing in my heart of hearts that I prefer both those "easier" methods as they taste more like the fresh fruit they came from. I will continue to purchase things like ketchup, applesauce, tomatoes, and pickles. Especially pickles.

Picture it: my cooktop, covered in salty white baked-on blooms of splashed brine. Empty jars, scattered lids, piles of cucumbers.  The kitchen scattered from hither to yon with crunched up dried dill. (An aside: you know how you find sand in odd places days after you go to the beach? I've already found dill in my bra.) Oh, and picture my pioneer spirit too: it was broken. And sweaty.

And maybe, just maybe, only two jars of pickles sealed after all that. And perhaps, to add insult to injury, they were the two jars that fell over, full of cucumbers, into the sink full of hot water just before I poured in the brine. And so now all my sink's bacteria is sealed nicely in two jars of doomed cucumbers... just waiting to strike.

I could pop jars open, buy new lids, process stuff and pray to the canning gods... or I could admit defeat, and admit that my older sister Johannah got all the pioneer genes and all I got was poison pickles.


  1. This is why I don't can. Poison. That and my general laziness. btw, dill in your bra? you are hardcore!

  2. Pickled ta-tas. That's a new one.

  3. Hahahaha! You and your dilly ta-tas are totally awesome.

  4. I made poisoned pickles, too, but for a different reason. I'd read that putting a grape leaf on top of the spears would keep them crispy. Well, lucky for me, Hubby and I had planted a grapevine on the side of our house a couple of years ago. So, plop, plop, plop... grape leaves into each jar.

    The next day, I woke up covered with a horrible red, oozing, itchy rash. It wasn't a grapevine. It was poison ivy. And I'd put it in ALL EIGHTEEN OF THE JARS I'D CANNED!

    Honestly, I don't know if I'll ever be able to smell a pickle again without itching.

    1. Oh my gosh. That's hilarious! I mean, now that you're no longer itching... ;) but that's a great story so thanks for sharing -- seriously made my night.

  5. I just make refrigerator pickles. Mall you have to do is cut and make the liquid. No processing!!! Now, they only last a few months, but they are awesome. Try them!! Ou can find lots of recipes on pinterest.


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