Quick pickle your veggies, and thank us later

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Now that our refrigerator door is full of jars, I think it’s safe to say we’ve found a quick-pickle recipe that’s worth sharing … and by sharing I of course mean sending oddly packaged mason jars through the U.S. postal service … and posting here on the blog. That, too.

Our first attempt, we tried this simple recipe. And it is tasty. But we decided to temper the garlic taste (don’t get me wrong, we love our garlic) with a couple sprigs of fresh dill and a pinch of coriander.

I’ve almost finished a jar in two days all by my lonesome. It’s the extra spicy jar with peppers, so husband knows to keep his distance.

*This recipe makes roughly three jars of pickled veggies.

 

Here’s what you need:

-Jars (We reuse ours a lot—any shape and size will do just fine.)

-About 3 cups of sliced veggies (Try green beans, radishes, cucumbers, any kind of pepper your heart desires, carrot sticks, and red onion.)

-2 ¼ cups of water

-2 ¼ cups of apple cider vinegar

-3 tsp salt

-4 ½ tsp sugar

-3 tsp minced garlic

-A bunch of fresh dill

-Ground coriander

 

Here’s what you do:

-Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a simmer.

-Wash and slice your veggies, then fill each jar. We always make one with hot peppers for me and my spicy-loving taste buds.

-Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, pour your pickling liquid over the veggies until they’re completely submerged.

-Now that your jars are filled, just seal them up, and pop them in the refrigerator.
(They’ll be good for about one week.)

I can’t usually sit and eat pickles—plural—as a snack, but when they’re fresh I just find myself craving them all the time … a mini appetizer while I’m cooking dinner … a side with lunch (like they’re chips or something).

I guess, now that we’re up to our eyeballs in pickled veggies, we need to find some what-to-do-with-all-these-pickles recipes. Let me know if you have any! In the meantime, I’ll just be over here crunching away.

 

Four things (in roughly five minutes if we’re being honest)

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1:: I might have let Fig choose my shoes today. I couldn’t make up my mind because it was early and the brain was foggy, and her nose just seems to know sometimes. … Or does that mean I’m always wearing the smelliest shoes? Eh, oh well.

2:: The Newtons have been spending their post-dinner evenings looking at what our local real estate market has to offer in terms of single-family homes. Let’s just say it’s slim pickings. What’s cozy and picturesque on the outside is a garish nightmare once you’re on the other side of the door—and I’m not just being picky, I swear! We’re talking window in the top corner of INTERIOR walls, people. I don’t even know how that sounds like a good idea. I’m starting to doubt that there is a home out there for us—not counting the one we stumbled on to a month ago … that sold within two weeks. (That one was perfect.)

The mister says it’s a good thing because we still have months to go on our lease, and we couldn’t make an offer now anyway. But it would be reassuring to find another—for no other reason than just to know that there’s more than one home we could love. Being an adult is hard work, guys.

3:: My side of the office was empty today, so I took full advantage and popped myself a smelly bag of popcorn. I’m like a 6-year-old; I can’t make it through the day without an afternoon snack. And I’m completely OK with that.

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4:: More food? It is a top priority around these parts (meaning in my head). Lee and I scratched one off our summer bucket list—right under the deadline—and quick pickled some cucumbers from the garden. They didn’t come from our garden, but my grandmother’s should count. It counts. I decided. We kept the recipe simple for our first foray into the pickling world, but we already have plans to experiment with more garlic, coriander and some jalapenos for a spicy kick. Once we’ve perfected our method, we plan to send some surprise jars to friends who have already tried to place orders.

And now a little Buckwheat to take us out: “I have two pickles, I have two pickles, I have two pickles today, hey, hey, a doot dat dee little woo wang wing biggle, I have two pickles today-day-day!”

Abracadabra, it’s magic

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We’re getting really good at this sudden disappear act.

Which also happens to remind me of the latest family costume idea we came up with: Lee the magician, me the assistant, and Fig the bunny you pull out of the hat … because she’s practically a third bunny anyway. Not that we are ever in need of costume ideas because we are boring, married homebodies who’d much rather cuddle on the couch and lose their trains of thought.

Choo choo. [Insert arm pumping motion here.]

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind of changes and unexpected detours—some good, some heartbreaking. There was a spontaneous international trip, a funeral, a job offer, a dance around the living room because of said job offer, and a puppy who has had to grow up a little faster than we’d like, what with her first boarding experience (she was a rock star if you care to know) and learning to be on her own more during the day.

Like I said, whirlwind.

It feels like we’re living completely different lives. OK, not completely. But it all happened so fast; my brain can’t keep up. What was two weeks ago feels like it was, at a minimum, two months ago. I blinked, and here we are.

Don’t get me wrong. We LOVE it here—this magical land where it’s OK if you go a teensy bit over the grocery budget, where we can pay OFF (not down!) the small amount of debt we’ve accumulated, where we can both end our days feeling happy and satisfied and productive, where looking at houses for when our lease ends isn’t completely ridiculous, where we can BOTH go out to the grocery store and hold hands down the bread aisle like we did pre-puppy.

This is where we’re at right now, and I’m thrilled to call it home.

We’re free!

The last of the vaccines has been given.

The one week waiting period is over.

And the Newtons are now free to explore any patch of grass that piques our fancy and make all the four-legged friends we please.

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We thought we’d celebrate the joyous occasion with a walk around the neighborhood, but Fig didn’t make it much farther than the gate before she felt the need to lie down and rest, so we opted to check out the new dog play yard on the corner. Thankfully it was empty. (I’m still anxious about Fig playing with the big dogs. She’s still so tiny!) We sniffed and snorted and tried to chase cars and found the biggest stick we could manage. And by we, I mean Fig.

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I think it’s safe to say she likes this outside thing. (;

Happy Fourth on the tenth because that’s how we roll

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We’re tardy per usual, but I’ll say it anyway even though it’s days late: Happy Independence Day! I hope yours was red, white, and blue all over with a few sparkles thrown in for flair.

We took the long weekend and stretched it out into an extra long one to make time for a road trip to Michigan to visit my brother and sister-in-law, two of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. It was different; this being our first time traveling with a puppy, but that just meant packing the car with more junk than usual and looking for restaurants with outdoor seating. Oh, and heading home for midday naps, which I had no qualms with whatsoever. Ha.

I won’t bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say we ate a lot of food, had a lot of laughs, and soaked up some sun without frying ourselves silly. It’s at least ten degrees cooler up there, and we really made the most of that lovely weather by walking everywhere we could, sitting out in the yard throwing (and losing) the Frisbee, and even going kayaking with Fig—in her little life jacket, of course.

I tell ya, that furball was the hit of the town. We were stopped no less than four times per outing, and someone even requested a selfie with her! She eats up all that attention, though. Lee always says, “She’s a looker.” And I always add, “And she knows it.” (:

And now here are some pretty photos to take us out because I’d probably just babble on about Fig some more.

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^^^When you’re on a proper road trip, you must stop for stupid fries. And a big stupid Coke.

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^^^Fig claimed the coffee table as her designated spot about five seconds after we walked in the door.

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^^^So grateful for the simple pleasure of sharing a meal, a bottle of sunscreen, and a load of laughs with the people I love.

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^^^This one gets me. Every. Time.

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^^^Fig decided mid-walk that vacations were exhausting. She just had too much fun, so we carried her home. (:

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^^^We tried to persuade Figgy to wade in at the riverbank, but she wasn’t having any of it. She wet her paws just enough to get a treat from my hand, but then it was right back to shore. Haha.

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^^^She knew she wanted it, but she didn’t know what to do with it once she had it. Ha.

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^^^This counts as a family photo, right? Fig’s shadow not included. (She prefers to reserve the bat signal for emergencies.) (;

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^^^There’s just never enough time with these two. Michigan is lucky to have them.

 

Maybe it’s the hour, or maybe it’s the Earl Grey

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There are some nights I lie awake in bed worrying and making lists. Then there are nights like tonight, when I can’t sleep for a wholly different reason, when something reminds me how wonderful this life I’m living can be–if I let it, if I stop and notice it … if I loosen my ninja grip on it.
It’s not always easy. (Life, not my ninja grip. (; ) It’s never perfect, at least not in any dictionary sense of the word. But some days it’s really, REALLY good. Like stupidly good. And that means I’m over here under the covers pinching myself to make sure it will all still be there before I finally let my eyelids close.