Pickles and Jam

Pickles and Jam

I had a Shingrix shot, the first one of two, a while ago. I have experienced side effects. The pain, rash, and swelling on the arm where I received the shot were short lived. No big deal. However, the gastrointestinal issues were painful, inconvenient, and very unpleasant. The Shingrix people said usually 2 to 3 days of this, but it was going on for over a week.

I feel self-diagnosis is a poor basis for self-medicating, unless the medicating is harmless. So I looked at electrolytes, and their role in gastrointestinal issues. Hmm… worth a try I thought.

I gag on electrolyte beverages such a Gatorade, they are vile and expensive. So that was out of the question. Next I thought, “OK, I need sodium, I need sugar, so why consume them together.” My solution, eat a few pickles, eat a teaspoon of jam, and drink a glass of water. Surely these things would mix well in my stomach.

Now I don’t know if this home remedy cured my gastrointestinal issue, but it went away immediately. It might just be a coincident, but if I get the same symptoms after my second shot, I’ll be invoking the great pickles and jam cure!

It has been snowing all day long here. It is a wet, slushy, clingy kind of snow, not pretty at all. A snowy day does make Mist Cottage seem all the cozier, particularly when Attila is here too.

Today the last of the ripening Tomatoes were processed into Tomato Sauce, which is stored in the refrigerator to use in the next casserole that calls for it.

The Ground Cherries did not ripen as hoped for. They were harvested after a hard frost, so there is no great disappointment in having lost them. That leaves only one gardening remnant, the drying seeds for next years planting, spread out over horizontal surfaces in the kitchen and living room. Soon those will be adequately dried for storage. I am hoping that this is completed before Christmas, as I would like our home free of garden projects by that time.

This weekend I made Naan bread, processed Tomato Sauce, baked Chocolate Cranberry muffins for Attila’s lunches, and made four liters of Switchel for Attila’s lunches. And of course prepared three meals each day from scratch, except for today’s dinner.

The thing about our lifestyle, is that unless I cook and bake, there is nothing edible in the cupboards. We have ingredients, and ingredients offer themselves as food only when attended to. There is a huge disincentive to be lazy, when all you have available is ingredients.

My Granny’s generation and those before her experienced the same challenge. By the time I arrived on the planet there were lots of canned, frozen, and pre-prepared meals on the market, and by the time I was an adult the fast food industry was feeding a lot of people. We ended up creating our foodstuffs from ingredients because the food industry got greedy, and began to use preservatives in everything, to prolong shelf life, enhance shipping procedures, and increase profits. That made most of the food others are eating dangerous for me, due to allergies. I am now thinking that has probably been rather fortuitous. Attila and I have skills and knowledge that enable us to make the most of what little we have. If there are issues with the food supply due to the pandemic, we have a shot of navigating the period of adjustment successfully.

Well that’s us this weekend. Attila is cooking our Sunday dinner, Coconut Lime Fish, Roasted Potatoes, and garden Brussels Sprouts. I have my feet up and my fingers moving here.

One month to Winter Solstice!



Date: 3:00 PM EST Sunday 22 November 2020
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 0.0°C
Dew point: -0.2°C
Humidity: 98%
Wind: NE 19 gust 30 km/h
Wind Chill:-5
Visibility: 2 km


“I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.”
Lech Walesa
1943 –

I don’t think lazy people invented the wheel or the bicycle, but I do think lazy people provided a great market opportunity. Lazy seems sad and pathetic, while well earned rest and relaxation seems joyful and admirable.


  1. I’m glad you found a solution to your tummy troubles!
    We have mostly ‘ingredients’ too, except for a few treats. Yogurt doesn’t really count as an ‘ingredient’, I don’t think?

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, have a good week ahead.

  2. Thanks Joan, feeling loads better now. Yogurt, a tough one, I think it has to be a personal choice, whether to call it an ingredient. It is an ingredient in Naan bread, and in many other dishes. You can make it yourself quite easily from milk. I count it as an ingredient because I am lactose intolerant and I can purchase lactose free yogurt… I was making it myself from milk, which was great, but my body said no, no, no. I don’t think of it as as much of a value added food, unless a lot of stuff has been added to it.
    Hope you enjoyed your weekend!!

  3. Sandy

    I’m glad you’re feeling better too. Is Shingrix a type of shingles shot? I procrastinate over getting that shot. I keep Propel electrolyte drink in the house. It has sodium, potassium and vitamins but no carbs or sugars. It’s also relatively cheap. But your solution sounds faster and more natural. Have a wonderful week !

  4. Thanks Sandy! Yes, Shingrix is a shingles shot, you need two of them. In Ontario it is free for people aged 65 to 70, outside that age range you have to pay for it.
    I’ve tried different brands of electrolyte drinks, during the whole colonoscopy escapades, and I cannot tolerate them. I think it is because I was very ill from one of the pre-treatments for the colonoscopy one year, and my body remembers it. So eating the pickles is easy because I love them, a spoonful of jam tastes great, and and drink of water is easy enough to down, so I am in business. The electrolyte drinks are great to have around though, Attila doesn’t mind them, so we have a few here just in case.
    Have a wonderful week!

  5. Steve-Paul (SP) Simms

    Sorry for your pains, Maggie. Glad they seem to have leveled off. As usual you are a leader in experimental living. Maybe there is merit in your sweet and salty medicine.
    We love naan bread and anything else Indian. We’ve also grown fond of injera, the spongy, sour flatbread of Ethiopian cuisine. Great for mopping up a plate of food, ideally in communal eating, which we can’t do much of just now.

  6. Thanks Steve-Paul, feeling much better now! And the side effects are better than Shingles I reckon. My medicine may or may not be a factor in my recovery, as I suspect it was just a matter of time anyway. But it was medicine I enjoyed taking!
    Naan is great bread! We discovered that it makes a perfect, flexible, non-crumbly hot dog bun, of all things, lol. Injera, must look that up and see if it is a possibility for homemade. Our Naan has no sodium in it, and is made with my milled whole wheat flour, and it isn’t too bad for all that! Communal eating, as you know, was something I had to abandon entirely in 1984 (what a year!). I feel for people right now, going through a very mild version of my food experiences. I got used to it, but I bet you won’t have to!

  7. Anonymous

    Hello Maggie and Maggie’s friends..somehow I missed your post about you hurting your finger, and now I don’t seem to be able to find it. I am grateful that it is/has healed. I am still recuperating from the rhizotomy on the left side, and this one has been a booger to get better. Having severe muscle spasms, which the doctor says is normal..sometimes the nerves just take longer to heal. But, good news…my b/p is better than it has been since becoming an issue in 2015. But checking it 9 times daily really seems to be over-kill. Maybe she will reduce this after my next visit with her in January. AFIB still acting up about 5 days out of 7; I am really being a bad patient. ( I hear most nurses are!). I don’t want to add another dangerous side effect drug to my regime unless I absolutely have to. I swear most doctors want pills for everything. It has been so difficult for me to handle these health issues. They make me angry. More anger than depression. My focus is now on re-building my strength, stamina, and trying to gain weight. I have not gained any since June….106 on my 5’11” frame ain’t good. Mike and I are getting bids/ references to have our master bedroom bath remodeled. Mainly, painting/ texturizing walls/ceilings, and re-tiling the floor. Mike will be painting the cabinets, adding new hardware, mirror, etc. This will be our last project, other than maintenance. Hopefully we will find a good and truthful contractor. I would love to find the guy that has done a lot of painting for us….just not sure if he a tile person. We will be spending Thanksgiving here. Jeremy and Natalie will be bringing us our dinner. I will not take a chance going to their home, mainly because her Mom lives with them and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, with involvement in all lymph nodes. And, I am still trying to decide if I will put up our Christmas tree…I haven’t the past 2 years. For some reason, I really want to this year. Meredith is going to be so surprised when she gets her Afghan at Christmas. She doesn’t know I finally finished it. The holidays are hard for me, after Jason died 3 years ago. It is hard to only shop for 2 children, rather than 3. Well, once again I have rambled on and on…stay safe and happy…..xxoo margarett

  8. Margarett, good to hear from you!
    I burned my finger taking a pan of muffins out of the oven, just carelessness. I slapped a bandaid on it and ignored it after that, continueing to preserve food and do dishes. I didn’t take proper care of it, and it got infected. It took me a while to get rid of the infection. Now the wound is healed. I’ve learned my lesson, and if I burn myself again will take great care in keeping the wound clean and dry, so it will heal normally. The whole episode is down to my own carelessness.
    Sorry to hear about the muscle spasms and AFIB, I hope they resolve soon!!
    The bathroom update sounds lovely. Finding someone reliable and competent to do renovations is always a challenge, we have had mixed luck with it, so I wish you well on your search.
    I have the opposite issue, keeping weight off is a challenge for me. If only humans could figure out a “weight exchange” technique, I am sure you find youself overwhelmed with donors, 🙂
    We have a scraggly little two foot celophane tree that we will put up this year. We aren’t doing gifts because financially it won’t work, the turkey we bought will have to be our Christmas gift to ourselves, which will be lovely I think. After getting through Thanksgiving without a turkey dinner, I have a renewed appreciation for a being able to have a turkey dinner.
    I hear how difficult it is to have lost a son, hugs to you and Mike.
    Stay safe and happy! xxxooo Maggie

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