Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pickling and writing- I got nothin'

(roots, glorious roots)

Something my blogfriend Diana Moll said over at The Qi Papers (about how, after attending the Weston A. Price Foundation Conference, she "could write short and concise pieces about Heart Rate Variance, Energetic Coherence, Iodine and Health, Healing the Bio- field and Subtle Energies in the Soil, but I choose to write about a rabbit"- Which, Ms. Moll, I personally would love to hear all about, in addition to the bottomless subject of buns) got me thinking.
Pickling or fermenting and writing just don't mesh for me like gardening and writing does. And I'd call it a bit of a conundrum, since my whole raison d'etre for gardening is eating the best food money can't buy. But when it comes to any sort of post-growing process, I'm mainly mute. I wish I knew why that is.
Of course, the edible outcome of a two-week-old crock of freshly fermented turnips or mixed vegetables is food positively taken to the next level; fermented vegetables become elevated, sublime- it very well could be beyond words for me. There are only so many ways to say "amazing" and "extraordinary" without sounding like a vapid cheeseball in need of a good Thesaurus.
Take today, for instance. I'm putting up a fermenting crock of sliced turnips and beets, and also making a pot of apple butter. But I've no desire to put fingers to keyboard about the wonders of either, and both are positively chock-full of wonders. Yet, if I was planting said beets or turnips, I'd wax on and on.... About how well or fast or slowly the seeds germinated, about how cute the cotyledons are, about the first true leaves, and the miraculous growth response from the first fertilization with worm tea. And of course, the weather. I never tire of thinking about or participating in weather, especially spring weather.

But the waxing about chopping for pickling... nope. Nada. Chopping for pickling is painfully boring. No matter how much I do it, I never achieve that desired Zen-like state. The best thing I can say about chopping up a big pile of vegetables for pickles is that,
by comparison, it makes ordinary prep for a single meal seem quick and tidy. I love to cook, but I know that my processes or outcomes are mostly nothing to write home about. My husband loves my cooking, and I find it edible and satisfying and nutritious, and that's quite enough for me.
Anyone have any opinions about this?


d. moll, said...

Hmmm, as a fermenter myself I can say that to me fermenting is actually a creative process, though from the prep one wouldn't immediately label it as such. Writing also being creative, it seems almost redundant to write about pickling. I was asked to make some 'kraut as part of a fundraiser and said that I would be couldn't do the packing in to smaller jars and such. After I got my ferment all packed in the crock I realized I did want to pack in it into those small jars and design a nice label and everything because it had turned into my art project (all be it an edible one). Just some random thoughts......

Rabbits' Guy said...

I am chuckling all the way to the pickle jar for a good sweet gherkin. I guess some things are just not fodder for writing, but then again, you sure wrote a long and interesting post about something you did not care to write about ...

Perhaps you can use the pickling life as a metaphor for something else and that will get your creative writing juices going until the Spring thaw ...

P~ said...

Nope, ilex, can't help you here. I'll blather on an on about, oh, just about anything... Just on and on...blah blah blah.
Wish I could help :;-)
Wish you would write about where you've managed to find your crocks though, I have a terrible time finding them. They are so expensive!
Good luck.

chaiselongue said...

I find writing exact recipes difficult as my cooking involves 'a bit of this and a handful of that', changing the mix as I go along. But I find it very satisfying to see a shelf of preserves which we've made, ready for the winter ... tomato passata and jams mostly. I wish you would write about your pickle fermenting because I don't know how to do it!