Don't these super fresh fruits and vegetables look so lovely? Good enough to eat!
Our good neighbor, Randy, brought them over. They were still hot from the morning sun when I shot this photo. Over the next few posts, I'll show you how we ended up eating this flavorful bunch from Randy's hard working garden and generosity. I will also speak about the Shredder for the garden that we bought the other day at a good price.
There was one cucumber in the bunch that made me flash back to the memories of my dear Aunt Maggie, my daughter's namesake. Do you mind if I share her with you?
Every year for summer vacation, Memaw and I would travel to Merryville, Louisiana. Her brother and sister-in-law, Uncle Pap and Aunt Maggie, lived there on a small farm. Now, Uncle Pap and Aunt Maggie were NO WHERE NEAR financially rich. They truly lived off their land and bartered with the community for the rest of life's needs. Aunt Maggie was the Egg Lady for her community.
There was Mrs. Patrick, who lived in the next field and Aunt Maggie would walk over to her place to get fresh cow's milk. I have countless memories of Aunt Maggie leaving her house with two very large, empty mayonnaise containers and bringing back fresh, hot milk. I would watch her come in, sweating from the walk in the heat, open up one of those jars, grab a spoon and scoop out a bite of cream that had formed on the top. She said it was her FAVORITE treat to eat.
Aunt Maggie showed me the joys of gardening. I'll never forget for as long as my memory lasts, the day we were standing in her garden and she was teaching me how to properly pick tomatoes. She said the best way to eat them was right off the plant. So, I reach down, gave one a twist, wiped it with the bottom of my t-shirt and bit into it like an apple.
That tomato POPPED and squirt juice across my cheeks and down my chin. It was hot, too. The whole tomato was hot from the sun and it's meat was tender and almost sweet, but not. I ate the whole thing right there and had tomato juice all down my t-shirt when I was done.
Then she grabbed a small cucumber and said, "Come in the house and I'll show you how to eat this!"
She grabbed a small bowl and started thinly slicing the cucumber.
She put cucumber slices in the bowl, then sprinkled them generously with salt and pepper.
Then, she poured apple cider vinegar over them and said, "Now let'em sit for a spell, then we'll eat'em."
And we did eat'em. They were vinegary and crunchy and delicious.
Now, when you decide to try this, I want you to know one thing. If it tastes too vinegary for you, add a pinch more salt. I don't know why, but salt takes that strong vinegar taste down a few notches. But be careful, it's possible to get them too salty and that's no fun.
So now you know what goes through my mind when I see fresh vegetables. From my Aunt Maggie to you, fresh cucumber pickles.