Tuesday, May 1, 2012


What's that they say? When the going gets tough, the tough get fermenting?

Toby and I spent a quiet morning turning raw veggies into pickles. Garlic, carrots and string beans. I love the fresh jars of ferments. Lots of potential there. It's very easy to do and the results not only taste delicious, but are so good for you (beneficial flora and all that). A friend of mine taught a fermentation class in my kitchen about a month ago and the pickled carrots and sauerkraut that came from that were amazing. The boys have been asking for more.

And now that the jars are sealed and put away on the pantry shelf all we need to do is wait.

Mark and Ben arrived safely in Philadelphia late last night. Their day of travel included a (required) stop in Oakland's Chinatown to pick up a copious amount of dim sum take out (enough to last through lunch and dinner on the plane and, after hearing what Ben ate, enough to feed an army--or one teenage boy and a little left over for his dad).

"I love the Ritz," read Ben's Facebook post at about midnight. I love the Ritz, too. I love that they had cookies and milk waiting for him. I love that there were no surprises and all he had to think about last night was a cozy bed piled high with pillows. This afternoon, after waking up late, they headed out to Reading Terminal Market, their favorite food stop. (You can see the pattern here.) Mark got a call from Shriners: Ben is first up in the OR tomorrow morning. They'll jump in a cab at 6 am and I'll get up at 3 (our time) to text my boy. The very good thing about being first in is he has a good chance of being out before the day is through.

Last night, after dinner, I had one of those incredible heart-to-heart talks with Harry, who at age 18 is turning into the most lovely of men. He brought up an experience he had last summer that while excruciatingly painful resulted in growth, learning, and other existential riches for him. "If I could get in a time machine and go back to right before it happened, I don't know if I would," he said. "I learned so much about myself from that experience. Also, what a true friend is. I have so much more self-confidence now."

The blessing of adversity, isn't that another thing they say? So many tears we've wiped away and yet so much we gain in abundance and understanding about ourselves, each other, the world.

It's like life's fermentation. You start with salt and water (um...tears, right?), some raw veggies, some bacteria. You put them together and then you wait.

In the midst of a challenging experience everything is so raw. But sometimes, with time, a little stewing in the juices, out comes something good for you, something beneficial.

Tomorrow at 6:30 am EST. Be thinking of our family, of our middle boy. Visualize all the good that will come from this most challenging of situations. Thanks.


Gillian said...

I've been wanting to learn about fermenting... the kids love pickles, I love pickled carrots and green beans, we all love sauerkraut. Your jars of veggies are beautiful!

We are keeping Ben in our thoughts, as well as the rest of your family. Miss seeing you!

Mindy said...

Beautiful Susie....beautiful.