Bill’s Hot Pickles

Did I say fresh . . .

       Food. Seems as if our thoughts are on food a good part of our waking hours. Planning what to buy,   how to prepare it, eating it, cleaning up afterwards, working with it, and on and on. Food.
       But, dang it, food is what we live and survive on and so it’s worth all the time and thought. And now’s the time to remember that good Food makes a great gift.
       And so, while there is yet an abundance and variety of fresh food in the markets, and with the Gift-Giving time of the year not too far away, I’ve found a recipe for gift-giving that is perfect. The right time to prepare it, too, for the gift-giving season of the entire year is just two months ahead.
       My son WR brought a bottle of these to a family dinner and I knew that when the season rolled around again, I’d be after him for the How Of It All, and make them myself.
       I don’t know who first thought of this recipe, but I call it, “Bill’s Hot Dill Pickles” and here’s how he, and I and you can make them.
       First get together the different kinds of fresh vegetables (raw) that you like and prepare them into bite size pieces or strips. Bill used tiny carrots, (or cut up the larger ones), small round onions, pepper slices of all colors, cloves of garlic, bite-size pieces of Cauliflower, small fresh cukes (or cut up the larger ones), and keep going. Small green tomatos, as well as small okra pods, are mentioned in the basic recipe, as well.  Fresh.  Crisp.  Did I say fresh?
       Make your own choices. and if some don’t appeal to you, leave them out. And if you want more of the others, go ahead. See it’s all up to you. But firm veggies are to be used, and Pint size jars that can be sealed.
Make a brine of:
1 cup salt, NEVER USE IODIZED SALT for pickles.
1 quart white vinegar
3 quarts water.
That simple.
       Okay, and this is the only half-way difficult part of the job, but sterilize the jars in boiling water, and (using tongs) take bottles from the boiling water. Into the bottom of EACH bottle, put 2 or 3 heads of fresh (did I say Fresh) Dill, (dry can be used if you are desperate), a clove or two of Garlic, one red Hot Pepper, and 1/4 tsp alum.
       Fill the bottle with the raw fresh vegetables of bite size pieces, and then fill the bottle with the BOILING BRINE, leaving about 1 inch empty space at the top. Seal immediately with the Ball brand of lids which have the white inner lining. Other Brands are brass color on the inner sides, but experience has shown that the white inner sides are best for vinegar food.
       That’s all there is to this marvelous pickle. Let them sit on a shelf and age and age while they get better and better. Ideally, the recipe says you should make them one year, and eat them next, but most families serve them within a month or two. And they are good, but the longer you wait, the hotter and better they get.
       Right now would be great ‘making’ time for Xmas ‘giving’ time.
       And, if you have any questions ask Bill. He’s the expert on these goodies. I’m only the go-between, but sometimes good go-betweens are handy people to have around.


       Actually, these are “Willie’s Pickles” as the recipe came from him in about 1975.  Willie was an old-school carpenter who worked for KUTV in those days.

       Also the standard disclaimers apply, be careful with the hot boiling water and get the kids out of the kithen while you are bottling.  Clean everything well but remember this is more like Grandma’s kitchen cooking than the sterilized Vlasic plant.  “Everyone eats a pound of dirt in their life” and most of it is nutritious.  Maybe that’s why these pickles are so good.  Be sure to use the most fresh produce available.


Cheese . . . Friend or Foe?

Pure cream . . .

      The media often gives me info I use, but other times? Well, a TV Panel was discussing the fact that 80% of us are over weight, and, if you, like me, enjoy eating Cheese? Don’t read my words.
      They told nothing new. That the wonderful stuff we grate, slice, toast or sprinkle, and in any form, color, or price, is nothing more than big blobs (yes, they used that word) of pure, thick Cream.
      Any cheese, they kept repeating, new or old, cheap or expensive, starts with the very same stuff we guiltily push to one side if whipped and served on a piece of pie. Form and age, the only difference, and I cringed, for they were hitting my eating habits with a vengeance.
      When the whey (milk) is discarded, and the cream curdled, then stored away from two, five, ten or more years, the more tasty, and expensive it gets. But only the Form changes, and basically, it remains pure cream. And puts the pounds on.
      They romanticized it, telling how, thousands of years ago, our ancestors, ‘blundered’ upon it as they milked their cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, or whatever lactating animal available, and if they tossed out the whey, and then left it alone,  they had created (probably the first) food that did not spoil, in hot or cold weather, and remained a nourishing food for years. We call it Cheese.
      And even today’s experts, use the same ‘recipe’, that the shepherds did, and as well as over half of the world’s population also does today. Nothing has changed except ‘details’. The Process? The same.
      Everyone of us has favorites of that wonderful stuff. For me, when it is grilled between slices of rye bread, it becomes a sandwich that makes my mouth water, and cheeks ache, even now, as I write about it.
      The TV group was torn in their opinions, too, trying to undermine our love for Cheese, and blaming a big portion of our extra poundage upon it. We forget, they said, exactly what we’re eating.   They named dozens. Stilton with its green mold? Cream. Feta, with a saltiness to make any salad sing? Cream. Cheddar? Cream. Mozzarella? Cream. Parmesan? Cream. Cream Cheese? Of course, Pure Cream.
      They ended up agreeing that the desert people all depend upon it for their daily food. But we with such a great, varied diet, should not over-indulge, and become aware that, in cheese, we are eating nothing but big blobs (again their words) of Pure Cream.

      The experts noted that we love it so much that we’ve made ‘Macaroni and Cheese’ a food that’s right up there with Apple Pie as a national favorite. And Pizza a close second. And yet we frown when served a dab of the same basic stuff, on some dessert.
      It’s all pure, plain, cream, turned into cheese, from today’s sanitized, refrigerated factories, to desert people, also of today, who make their cheese out in the open, with the animals it came from right alongside. By the very same process.
      Cheese has been a basic food wherever people live on what food they could/can  find in the fields, and often is the only difference between living and starving.

      Author, Laurie Lee, chose to remain in Spain when Franco, egged on by Hitler, began WW 2, and wrote of the two years he lived and fought with the families who dwelt in the deserts and dry mountains of that Iberian Peninsula. And how he learned to respect, and depend upon their stone-hard cheese, which they carried in their pockets, or sacks, and whether in summer’s heat or winter’s freezing, fed them as they fought.
      Cheese, they said,  is perhaps the world’s first ‘invented’ food. All we’ve changed is just how to fancy up the flavor and presentation. And according to the experts, must learn how to use it correctly, or keep our extra pounds. Oh me. 
      What they told was interesting but not new. They, too, couldn’t make up their minds as to whether to put Cheese on a no-no list, or not, but at the same time, they took away my joy of using it in my meals. Truth isn’t always fun.

Have a Good Post-Pregnancy Life

Pregnant for only nine months, but a woman for the rest of our lives

      There was a doctor, Peterson, I believe, who was ‘assigned’ to me when I was a very pregnant young woman, and my husband had been sent to work at a Manhattan Project Plant. It was more than a year before we knew the facility was for Atomic Research.
      Anyway, we were assigned a roomy 5-room, 2 bdrm. home with everything paid for, such as all utilities, furnace (coal checked and replenished monthly), large lawn space, and all medical care. Everything  Government Issue. Which at least partially, explains why I can’t remember that man’s name, but he changed my life.
      I’ve passed his words along many times, just as I’m doing so again today for young women having their children today. . Never once did I ever tell him “Thank you”, for WW2 soon ended and we were all again tossed hither and thither. But others have thanked me for his words.
      Anyway, there I was, a long, long way into my pregnancy, bewildered, scared, in a new ‘town’ and tossed into his care. It was a year or              two before I had any way of knowing the worth of his counsel, and so I excuse myself.
      He was a young doctor and after the preliminary exams were over he told me I was in great shape, but a little overweight. I was surprised because I had been watching what I ate, etc. BUT I WAS PREGNANT, dang it, WHAT DID HE EXPECT ???
      Well, he didn’t expect anything, but he hoped for several things.
      First he told me, “A woman is pregnant for nine months, but remains a woman for the rest of her life,” and I agreed with him. So, he said, “When I see you on your first visit AFTER the birthing, I want to see you looking like you did before you became pregnant.”
      Well, dang it, I had the same hopes, and had just taken it for granted, but the Doc wasn’t there for a conversation and went on with his directions.
      “From now on”, he smiled at me, “I want you to pay attention to women who are older than you. Wherever you are, restaurant, store, church, anywhere, silently watch women who are 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years older than you, and then choose which of those women you would like to look like when you become their age.” 
      Oh, I silently said, and he went right on, “And, at the same time, decide which ones you would not want to look like.” Oh, that’s different. Okay, okay, I’m hearing you.
      “And when you see one in her 60’s and not bad looking at all, watch her. If in a restaurant, casually see what she eats. If she’s in your neighborhood, pay attention to how she spends her days. What she does, or doesn’t do.”
      At the same time, he went on, “Find those women that you would NOT want to look like at their age, and do the same silent checking.
      “Make this a casual habit. For heaven’s sake, don’t intrude, but watch women older than you, and notice the foods they order, how they exercise, hobbies, spend their ‘free’ time, handle their children and all the rest.”
      He stressed that, perhaps unconsciously, but each of those women had chosen the bodies they now walk around in, by their choice of food, exercise, or no exercise. What they read, studied, dressed, and all the rest that makes up a woman’s life.
      And he stressed that it doesn’t take lots of money, just right choices.
      Did I ever hear him. There, long ago, I sat with a ‘baby bump’ as big as four balloons, and while I’m no paragon of beauty, my weight is good, I still have a waist line, my mind is active, and my family needn’t apologize for me as their mother. Just silently watch, and do the best you can.
      Watch older women and CHOOSE which one you would like to look like in 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years . . . and which ones you do NOT want to resemble, and then go on from there.
     Thank you, Dr. Peterson,  I dunno where you got your info, but it did much to form my adult life, and I think the lives of several other women who’ve heard my various ‘talks’  and read my (your) words over the years. 
      Pregnant for only nine months, but a woman for the rest of our lives. Wow and double wow. Words that should be indelibly imprinted upon the mind of every woman as she enters the years when motherhood is a possibility.  And right there is the reason I repeat these words,  in one way or another,  every few years.


Ethel’s Creed


A friend leaned against my Bulletin Board (read refrigerator) and said,  “Hey, you have good stuff here. Why not put it on your Blog?” I acted as if I didn’t hear him, but as he kept on talking about it, I figured     “Why not?” So here are words he read. Words I see and read, each day.

It is so simple, and so few words needed.
My Consciousness has never associated
Itself with this very temporary body.
Before I came on earth
I was the Same.
I lived in a child’s body, but I was the Same.
I grew into womanhood, but there was no change in Me.
I remained the Same.
When it was time for this body
To marry and have children, I joyously did so,
But I remained the Same.
And although this body has lived, worked and matured
I am still the Same.
Throughout eternity,
Though the Dance of Creation changes everything around Me,
I shall ever remain the Same.
Ethel Ohlin Bradford circa 1990
– – – – – – – – – – – –
There is an Essence.
It existed before Heaven and Earth were Created,
It is not male or female
It is not good or evil, night or day
It is not God, Allah, or Buddha.
For there was Essence before names or language came into being.
It just Is. The Source of ALL.
Everything comes from this Essence.
I rejoice in its Power,
Knowing that all I see, hear, feel, taste, or smell,
Even my ‘enemy’ or myself
Is that Essence.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Beyond all ideas of opposites,
Beyond all wrong-doing or right-doing
There is a Place.
When the Soul rests in that Place
All ideas, languages, and even the phrase, ‘each other’
Make no sense.
We came from there and someday
We’ll meet in that Place again.
Rumi, 1600 A.D. Persian Poet
– – – – – – – – – –
Silence is the language of God. All else is poor interpretation.
– – – – – – – – – –
Some people die before they’re dead,
And lie in homemade coffins
Eaten alive by regrets
For songs not sung, seas not sailed,
Love not earned or given.
They are living in their own Hell
While waiting for Heaven.
Author unknown, but came my way via good Doctor. R. M.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
When you come to a Red Sea place in your life
And in spite of all you can do
There is no way back, there is no way round,
The only way is through,
Then trust in the Lord with Faith Supreme
Though the wind and the waves blow high.
He will calm the waves
He will still the wind
As He says to your Soul, “Go On”.
– – – – – – – – – –
May The Source bless you