Friday, December 24, 2010

Boots or Shoes?

Last night I was talking to a person about cross-country skiing. I mentioned something about 'boots' and this person said, "they're shoes". I said "I know they are somewhat like shoes and less like boots but they are referred to as 'boots' in the sport and in the catalogs and by most enthusiasts." The person said, "Hm, I've always called them shoes" and continued to refer to them as shoes the remainder of the conversation.

I was reminded of this conversation as I read through Excerpt from Author’s Note in Christ The Lord Out Of Egypt by Ann "I am not a Christian" Rice. I began reading it with a great deal of skepticism because I've long been convinced of two things, 1. You can't believe everything you read and 2. Someone I once respected said some derogatory things about Ann Rice when she declared she believed in Jesus but doesn't wish to be labelled a christian.

The article is a good read for atheist, agnostic, and believer alike. I don't expect it to change you forever if you insist on being wrong without entertaining sholarly investigation (shoes or boots?) or if you, like me, are a born skeptic but it is interesting and worth the read, or so I thought anyway.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Best Pickle Recipe I've Ever Eaten

I promised a friend that I'd post the absolute best pickle recipe we've tried yet. So here it is. I love dill pickles but I hate soft ones. They gotta have CRUNCH! This is the only recipe that we've tried in over 10 years of trying recipes that gives the desired crunch and has all the garlic and dill flavor we like.

8# 3"-4" long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeld and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed

  1. Wash cucumbers and place in the sink (or bathtub for larger batches) [Leslie yelled in, "use big coolers, the ice doesn't melt as fast"] with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
  3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars. with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar's rims of any residue.
  4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
  5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks (we can never wait past 6 but they are better at 8) before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.
  6. Enjoy!