Friday, September 29, 2006

First Day of School

Yesterday was my first day of Nursing School. I shuffled from a PE class (oh, sorry Nursing School calls it "kinesiology" class), to Nutrition (Apparently you *are* what you eat), to Pathophysiology (that's diseases to you and me) to, uh, some other class. I was so tired at that point I can only call it The Class In The Room With No Windows Whose Climate Control Is Operated By Someone With An Undermedicated Thyroid Disorder. But I was given a crisp twenty dollar bill almost as soon as I sat down ("sign here," they said)+, so how bad can the class be...? Did I mention the climate control? Yes? Bad.

So I heard that there are many people in midlife making career changes to nursing. So, where are they? Not at Nursing School U where I am going. Nope. There are maybe 5 people out of 65 over the age of 30, I'd say.

Apples. Do you know what that means? No more peaches. And pretty soon tomatoes will be gone, too. I'm sorry. Apples don't stand in for peaches and tomatoes for wonderful. The apple tree in my folks' backyard fell down. It was host to many delicious apple pie apples. No. It was a golden delicious tree. Who knew that golden delicious apples make the Best Apple Pie in The World. Yep. Mom's apple pie.

+ so, the school decided to pay for my malpractice insurance and, apparently, the twenty clam was money I'd given them at Nursing School orientation

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Refrigerator Pickles

I want to eat sandwiches all day long so that I have an excuse to eat these homemade refrigerator pickles. I used this recipe:

1 Pound Pickling Cucumbers (about 8)
1 cup of water
1 cup white distilled vinegar of 5% acidity
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon slightly crushed dill seed
1 teaspoon slightly crushed mustard seed
1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh dill
4 cloves whole garlic, peeled

Combine cukes (I sliced 'em into rounds, you could leave 'em whole or slice 'em lengthwise), water, vinegar, sugar, salt, dill seed, mustard seed, peppercorns and red pepper in a large bowl.

Let it sit for four hours

Four hours later, place fresh dill (I choped it just a little) and whole garlic in a clean wide-mouthed jar (I used a big bowl w/ a tight-fitting lid). Remove cukes from brine and put them in the jar and cover them w/ the brining liquid (I included the seeds and such). Refrigerate for TWO WEEKS.

The first time I made these I used celery seed instead of dill seed. The question was: sliced or not sliced? I sliced 'em. The hardest part was having to wait for two weeks for the things to cure in the fridge. I tasted them after four hours and they were very cucumbery, but after a week they were more pickly (but still had a cucumberyness to them) after two weeks they were the best pickles EVER. A little spice-y and nice and crisp!