Thursday, February 3, 2011

Of Puppets and Pickles

Helmsley minus lips

I have essentially finished Helmsley. There is, however, a good chance he will never see a stage floor. I am fairly sure I will dismantle him and reuse him for parts, he's just not up to par and I can't imagine sending him away.
Helmsley's finished face

Summer's bounty 2010
I also tried my first jar of pickles from this past good. I thought I was being clever by using Apple cider vinegar since I love the stuff, but it made the pickles sweet and the pickling spices didn't help. All I wanted were some good strong dill pickles, but I suppose I have to have a few failures here and there. Perhaps I will plan out my pickles better this summer, figure out the right way to make koshers, following newer books on preserving pushes towards "gourmet" pickles which are in no way what I want. I want pickles like they keep in huge jars on deli counters, with that great crisp bite. Maybe I'm asking too much. On the upside, my sweet pickle relish is fantastic, it's perfect to add to anything and even though the dice went a little far due to my inexperience with a cuisinart, I like it tons.

I have started to work on some puppets I started last year, they are a set of four puppets all in the same basic shape. They are smaller than most I have made, but I think they will turn out cute and a nice set. I even used some fabric set aside for a vintage project to make a really cute little dress for one, we will see how they survive.

I have also started a new project with felt, but as I am using those for part of my craft exchanges, I can't post too much until I send them away.


  1. Have you tried making fermented pickles? In my opinion, they tend to have much better snap. I am with you on the liking a good, crisp dill pickle, and have found that I prefer them. I do have a regular canned dill pickle recipe that I've had good luck with, if you want to try it, I'll see if I still have a jar. That is admittedly unlikely, I have to make them in secret so my friends don't steal them right out of the canner. :) It's from a small batch canning book, so you won't be saddled with a dozen jars of them if you want to try making a batch of them yourself, though. :) Pickles are a total bitch, but a good one makes it so worth it.

    That was a lot about pickles, sorry...

  2. Hey, the more info about making pickles the better, Jill! Thanks!
    I tried making fermented slices this summer, but it looked so creepy I dumped it all out after about the 8th day. I do want to try fermenting whole cukes this summer. It was just a crap shoot at the farmer's market as to when they would have any pickling cucumbers available,so it was always last minute and not very well thought out but I'm growing them myself this year so I can plan a little better.
    I would appreciate your recipe for canned pickles too if you don't mind sharing!