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Of veggies: fresh and pickled

My enthusiasm for all things outdoors has not abated. But it’s been so hot in Perth that just keeping the garden alive is a challenge. I recently had my garden mulched – a new idea for me, though obvious given the sandiness of Perth’s soil. Yes, you got it, I employed a young person.

Everything is looking happier, even these unauthorised arrivals:

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They simply appeared after I tossed some spoiled tomatoes in there.

These capsicums were given to me by my departing neighbours – they’ve probably grown too tall having been in pots, I’m expecting the capsicums to fall off after replanting, but after 2 days they look like they may survive.DSC04775

But the Lebanese cucumbers have given me cause for celebration.

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Will my corn be so lucky or did I plant too late?

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Maybe I should start growing dill as my childhood neighbour used to. An elderly Hungarian woman, she made pickled cucumbers that we kids literally fought over.

If you are not of Eastern European Jewish extraction  (Ashkenazi) you may think I exaggerate. But pickled cucumbers are to my lot what olives are to Italians. A necessity. They brighten the most mundane of sandwiches (cheese!). And their place on my table is well assured now that I have a commercial option.

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I recently found these on the shelves of Princi’s my local Italian deli.

And the bread? The Wine Store in East Freo. Quinoa and Linseed. I’m hooked on this bread.

Sometimes when I’ve ventured into one of the major 2 supermarkets (I try to avoid this) I’ve found Eskal pickled cucumbers. Eskal are good if rather hot, but these “ Pri-Chen” are the closest thing to Mrs Schwartz’s cucumbers. Good commercial pickled cucumbers are Israeli. Please don’t speak to me of Polski Ogorki. – they are edible, no more. Never sweetened pickles !

Why are we so obsessed by pickled cucumbers? As John Cooper points out, my forebears existed largely on a diet of black bread, bitter and sour due to its lactic acid content. The pickles helped to make the black bread digestible.

Not sure that I will try to improve on these pickles – but I will certainly be eating cucumbers.

Stay tuned…!