Her bright eyes glistened with curiosity as she watched the experienced hands of her grandmother gather the ingredients: brine, dill, garlic, grape leaves from a nearby friend, and of course freshly harvested cucumbers. Hazel’s small hands reached for the green skinned cucumbers, feeling the bumps and ridges beneath her young fingers as she wiggled them into the jar playing the original multi-dimensional version of Tetris. The mystery of the pickle is unravelling as Hazel learns the craft of fermentation.
This time of year, Late-summer, is the beginning of the heavy flow of harvest. All summer long nature works to bring things into fruition. In the late-summer we find ripened fruits ready to be consumed and digested. Some things we eat right away, while others we preserve for later (freezing, canning, or pickling).
This applies to our experiences from the summer as much as it does to the foods. Some moments, conversations, and realizations immediately became a part of us; we have the space to take them in. Other experiences might get frozen or stuck in our systems without being totally integrated into who we are. Maybe it was something overwhelming or difficult, or maybe it was a sweet realization happening amidst a swirl of other events and we weren’t able to fully let in.
For those of you who journal or want deep and meaningful conversations with people, a good question to befriend is: What experiences from the summer do you want to bring with you into the rest of the year? And of course the natural question to follow is What can you do to help bring these experiences into the rest of the year? And you may even want to think about What happened this summer that I wasn’t able to fully process or take in?
These are big questions. Giving attention to the process of integration can be helpful.
- Carve out a quiet night with yourself to reflect.
- Meet with a friend to talk through these questions over tea or wine.
- Dance to some quiet music with these questions on your mind.
- Give yourself an hour to lie down and let some acupuncture points support this process
You can also come to a Pickle Party where we’ll be making pickles while we explore these questions together. There's something fun about doing things with your hands in a group with open hearts.
Thursday, August 29th @ 4:30 - RSVP for details.
If you can’t make it, but want to make pickles on your own, here’s our recipe*:
~5 TBSP Salt
1/2 Gallon warm water
2-3 Grape or Oak leaves
1 Teaspoon Peppercorns
¼ teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1-2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
To create the brine mix the salt and warm water until salt is dissolved. Place cucumbers along with other ingredients into containers (quart jars are a good option). Poor the brine into the jars until they're full. Cover loosely with a lid (air needs to be able to escape). Cover Jars with a towel and keep in a dark place.
Depending on how sour you want the pickles, you can start eating them within 3-4 days (half sours) or 7-10 for full sours (less days in warmer storage areas).
*recipe is a loose concept with pickles. It's all about experimenting. This should serve as a good starting point ;-)