In a Pickle… Literally

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Cucumbers keep coming, the pickles keep getting made, over five dozen jars so far, eight were canned yesterday. As well there are two dozen jars of Zucchini-Pineapple, five were canned yesterday. And the purchases trip to the retail outlet for Wheat Berries have not been properly stored yet. Yesterday the Candied Papaya, that was purchased in a bulk bag, was repackaged and vacuum sealed. It is used for baking, and for trail mixes. Something was needed as an alternative to raisins, as the current supply we have is a very poor quality.

Today the bulk bag of Buttermilk was repackaged. This was one of the additional purchases made during the trip to buy Wheat Berries. First measured portions needed to be placed in small plastic bags (recycled milk bags), then these were placed in larger bags and vacuum sealed. They will be stored in the freezer. Buttermilk is the main ingredient for Ranch Dressing Mix, a favourite of Attila’s. I am married to the Condiment King of The Universe.

My 1969 vintage cookie sheet. This is an example of how sharing a kitchen requires some compromise. This cookie sheet was always bright and shiny, until I lived with Attila. His standards of care are not the same as mine. For some years after we began our life together, I worked hard to keep my kitchen gear pristine, but eventually I just gave up, and here is what we have. It works, nothing at all wrong with it. I do not let Attila use my stainless steel loaf pans though, I know better.

All of our bread products are baked at home, with flour that I have milled. This summer I’ve been baking hamburger and hot dog buns, and even tried my hand at pita bread. The recipes are still being tweaked, there is much to learn. One of the issues faced is my trusty cookie sheet, circa 1969, lets see, that makes it 51 years old. The issue is that since there is only one sheet, not all of the buns to be baked will fit on it. I need two pans. Attempts have been made with various other pans, cakes pans, a broiler pan. This results in uneven baking, due to the differences in the pans. I would like to have two cookie sheets, that would fit side by side in the conventional electric oven that I use. The existing cookie sheet won’t share a rack in the oven, it is too wide. So I’ve been exploring cookie sheets, seeing what I can find. I’ve ruled out stainless steel, too hard to find, and when I do find it, it is so expensive, and would have to be imported. I would love anodized aluminum pans, two of them, so I am looking at them carefully. In the meantime, we will enjoy our array of hamburger buns, some a little overdone, some a little underdone, depending on the pan and the location in the oven. One of the other issues is the that the oven does not heat evenly. You get what you pay for, it was the cheapest range available. But it works, after a fashion.

Actually, I had an order ready to purchase two smaller cookie sheets, and it just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why, so I deleted the items in the cart, and told myself that I will find a way to make my one aluminum cookie sheet work for making hamburger buns.

Then Attila arrived home. Two people where he works have come into contact with Covid-19, and have been at work since that contact. They went for testing on Wednesday. If they have it, they have been wandering through the facility where Attila works for two days. Attila was talking to the young man on Monday, they were wearing masks, but a 6 foot distance is not attainable everywhere where Attila works. So now we wait for the test results. We have our fingers crossed that these two people do not have Covid-19. Time will tell. Some hard decisions to be made over the next few days. I am so glad I didn’t order those cookie sheets!

Attila is feeling fine, I am feeling fine. We aren’t going anywhere, so in essence we are self-isolating, so if we become ill, we won’t be infecting anyone else.

Well, after that shocking bit of news tonight, I wandered back into the garden!

The glad in Gladiolus is just what I needed!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Attila called in sick this morning, this will give us time to think things through, as to what our next step should be. He got a call from HR, checking to ensure he did not have symptoms, and assuring him that the couple in question did not report coming into contact with an active case of Covid-19, but she developed flu symptoms on Tuesday and didn’t come back to work. He continued on at work until Thursday, and is now self-isolating. Her mother, who works there, is also self-isolating. So the couple, and her mother, were all at work until she developed symptoms on Tuesday. No one has confirmed to the employees if there have been positive or negative test results for employees at the facility. We don’t know how things stand at the moment. It is hard to make decisions when you don’t have all the facts!

On a brighter note, the basement reorganization has begun in earnest. It is a monumental job! The freezer had been positioned where we wanted it, and leveled. This morning one of the metal storage racks was configured to fit heavy items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. And I organized every last jar of home canned food, over 100 of them. All sitting nicely on the shelves now, labelled and everything.

Tonight Attila is moving another metal storage shelf into place. I figure he moved half the contents of the basement into the garage to make enough room to maneuver it into place. What a job! He is doing that right now, I am staying well clear unless he calls for assistance. Attila likes to work alone. Tomorrow the items can begin to go back on the relocated shelving unit. One step closer.



Date: 7:00 PM EDT Thursday 13 August 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 27.9°C
Dew point: 17.6°C
Humidity: 53%
Wind: calm
Humidex: 34
Visibility: 24 km

Date: 8:00 PM EDT Friday 14 August 2020
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 24.3°C
Dew point: 13.2°C
Humidity: 49%
Wind: NE 17 km/h
Humidex: 27
Visibility: 24 km


“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
Harper Lee
1926 –

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Saying prayers that Atilla has not been exposed to the virus. So scary. Stay well.


Like your new graphics, Maggie. Pretty gladioli. Zucchini pineapple sounds yummy.


Hello Maggie
Just popped in to see if you’d managed to fix your comment ‘problem. Ooh new look – looks good. Pale green and full width…nice :). Also a photograph on your about page…nice 🙂
Fingers crossed there’s been no virus spread in the factory. A worrying time for you both. As they say… only takes one….let’s hope he/ she wasn’t the one.
Take care

Joan Lansberry

Prayers Attila is okay! Prayers for both of you, that you stay safe.
The Gladiolas are beautiful….

Your page looks very nice….
(Meanwhile, I keep using the circa 1998 code. At least all new pages will be Arial font, rather than Times New Roman. Arial is so much easier for old eyes (and I understand it’s better for those with dyslexia).