Those that have followed here through the past year, may know that I LOVE the outdoors. So, today I share a day in my garden and the “pickle” patch, as I endearingly call it. First, I have made 3 jars of cold pack cucumber pickles!!! This has been an adventure into the wild world of canning, for me. It seems that every relative has a secret recipe or method that they swear an oath to keep in the “circle” but then you can easily Google it up and watch it on YouTube being made by their best friend! This business of “Best Recipe” is my gripe, I figure. Most times, it’s been a hit and miss that trickles down the generational line of cooks and canners alike. Someone is ALWAYS modifying the main frame of the recipe by either omitting something, they don’t like the taste, they might reduce the amount of one ingredient or increase the amount of another and so on, you get the idea.
So, what did I do, you might ask? I looked at the method first, I looked at the ingredients next and then I opened up my cabinets at what I had in my supplies. Some things were available, like the vinegar, pickling salt (last years) and yes, I still had the water in our well (thanks God!) Next I rummaged through my seasonings. Pretty low but I did find some mustard seeds and a jar of mixed pickling spices. Hmmm. No dill and no peppercorns. With my eyebrow raised high, I again scrutinized the recipe I found online (of course). You must understand one very crucial trait (mine) here before I continue, I am very Sanguine in nature. I am not the BEST at pretty much anything but I do my BEST at making it fun and a learning experience.
So, with that said, here is the result of my pickling adventure. I packed the BEAUTIFUL HOMEGROWN CUCUMBERS (pardon the brag) into the Mt.Olive up-cycled (used) pickle jars. I had crushed garlic cloves, pickling spices, mustard seeds, celery seeds and red pepper flakes in the bottom of each jar. Next I made the brine of the vinegar (apple + a smidgen of white), pickling salt and water (thanks God!). Poured the brine (come to Jesus moment) into the jars and covered with the original lids (as bought). These sat on counter till room temp (overnight) and then chilled for an EXCRUCIATINGLY LONG 2 DAYS (48hrs). Alas, finally the TASTE TEST!
Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking!! LOL. But I do know how BAD recipes are made, for sure!! The pickles tasted good, if that was the way your recipe planned for the results. But, I was using a recipe that was planned to make DILL PICKLES, these pickles I made…not so much. My mamma used a saying, that at this point I feel is appropriate to interject…”the best laid plans of mice and men, may come to no good end.” Lol
We sometime can find that true in our everyday circumstances that confront our lack or what seems as lack. When you plan your day and there is some critical appointment, person, place or thing that presses your buttons or demands your immediate attention, you can be confronted with LACK. Like in a recipe, you really need to stay focused on the PLAN to reach the best RESULTS and YOUR GOALS! If you do not have a KEY ingredient, I cannot express this any more sincere…DO NOT GO ROUGE, DO NOT MIX WITH A SUBSITUTE AND DO NOT FIX or MODIFY, IF NOT BROKEN.
“There is a lesson in here somewhere,” I told myself after eating my first pickle sample. It was a reminder of the VIRTUE of long-suffering (I know you thought it was patience). Why? Because, in long-suffering we become resourceful with God’s resources and earn the rewards of seeing lack as a prospect for God to provide, in His good time…for our best result. It’s the Best Recipe for a BLUE RIBBON Christ-centered life. (Pardon the Fair talk, lol)
The definition of long suffering is someone who had to endure something unpleasant for a long period of time, but who was patient throughout.
James:5:7-8 exhorts us: “Therefore be patient [literally, longsuffering ], brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
My Prayer: Father, we can in long-suffering, wait for your word to establish our hearts. For we know that in doing so, your good pleasure is being performed to do your will. It really is that clear and straightforward…just like all good recipes, it just makes a good sense. Amen ~