In pickling news, I have made my first attempt at gherkins/American pickles. My recipe* involved the following:
- Tiny cucumbers, sliced
- Garlic granules
- Two bay leaves
- Enough coarse sea salt to form a thick layer on the bottom of the jar
- Tablespoon of peppercorns
- Fermenting jar (1.4 litres)
- Time (1 week)
I tried them after seven days and they weren’t quite right, so I dumped in more salt and waited three more days. They taste almost exactly like the gherkins you would buy from the supermarket, even without the mustard seeds, but I feel as if something else is missing. Could it be sugar? If you have a favourite gherkin/American pickle recipe, please share it in the comments.
Jan 15: If you could pick a new first name, what would you choose?
I wouldn’t. I am very fond of my first name. It’s one of the best things my dad gave me. When I was younger, I wanted to be Natasha. I can’t remember why.
Whenever Humuhumu has to make up a name, she either uses Sophie or Aleesha. She won’t tell us why.
Jan 16: What is your favorite board game?
Scrabble, but we never play it because it always turns into “Squabble”.
Jan 17: What self-care things do you find helpful to ground yourself or “talk yourself down from the ledge” when you’re overwhelmed by your feelings or by stress?
I drink tea and go to the gym.
Jan 18: What is the most extreme weather you have ever experienced?
A Category 3 hurricane, when I was about eight. I also vividly recall a hailstorm in Minnesota when I was about the same age, where the hailstones were the size of golf balls. It was terrifying but on the positive side, it only lasted a couple of minutes, unlike the hurricane.
Jan 19: Do you operate out of any particular faith system that informs your actions? Do you intentionally NOT have a faith system, and if so, what beliefs or ideas inform your actions?
I’m an atheist. I’m sure that growing up in a household of lapsed Christians, briefly attending a Catholic school, being surrounded by ardent believers of various stripes during most of my schooling, and living in a predominantly Christian society, probably means that the Christian faith has at least some impact on my behaviours.
I believe that other people have the right to have a faith system, and that one of my duties as an atheist is not to be a dick about that.
Jan 20: When you go to a fancy coffee shop, what’s your go-to order?
If we’re talking about the sort of coffee shop where the baristas will describe the bean origins and roasting conditions in exquisite detail, then I will have an espresso. If we’re talking about the sort of coffee shop where most of the fancy drinks have only a passing relationship with actual coffee, then I’ll order the gingerspicematchalattething with sprinkles and cream, because why not go all out?
Jan 21: What genre of books is your usual favorite when you read for pleasure?
It used to be fiction (fantasy, murder mysteries of the Agatha Christie type, humorous, “literary”, and sci-fi). I read a good deal more non-fiction for pleasure (autobiographies/memoirs, economic theory, science) now than I did when I was in my teens and early twenties.
* recipe does not contain any actual merkin. Please do not google with tea in your mouth.
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