You have heard the term “green thumb”. If you looked up a description for Aunt Millie, that would be at the top of the description. She could grow a garden that seems impossible to me. Every common vegetable from radishes to sweet corn was planted with care, and according to the signs of the moon. I think she used the Farmer’s Almanac to get her information on when to plant, but it was all by the different phases of the moon. It seemed to work for her, I remember helping her in the garden, harvesting some green beans and cucumbers and peppers. I remember munching on a fresh picked green bean, man they were good fresh picked. Think I would occasionally manage a green pepper too, one of my favorite garden veggies.
She also grew some of the best cantaloupes in the area. At least that is the story that I heard. She would bring a big bunch of them up and I would load up my wagon, maybe along with some cucumbers, maybe some green peppers and a tomato or two. I would walk my neighborhood street and it did not take long to empty the wagon. I don’t think she could have grown enough to satisfy the neighborhood, but we did have to make sure there was enough to enjoy ourselves…
While I remember how much fun it was to help Millie in the garden, today, I do not care to garden. If it weren’t for my wife, we would not get the fresh tomatoes, green peppers and other garden delicacies. I do love fresh veggies though….
Below, is a recipe from Aunt Millie’s recipe collection. I do remember these pickles, and I can attest to the delicious taste that thes had.
Bread & Butter Pickles
Heirloom recipe handed down from: Millie Watts
Region of origin: N/A Origin date: N/A
Tradition: Serve with Meals Prep time: 2 hours Servings: N/A
1 gallon of Cucumbers 2 Tsp. of white mustard seed
1 Quart of onions 2 Tsp. of celery salt
4 green peppers
Salt, 1 quart of vinegar
2 cups of sugar
2 Tsp. of Turmeric
Soak in salt water. Slice cucumbers, onions and green peppers. Sprinkle with salt while slicing. Add all ingredients and cook till tender. Put up in quart jars.
I think her garden was one reason Dad had a garden for us. His farm in the city.
Never thought about that, but now that you mention it. That farm and all it was and is was a huge part of Dad. It has rubbed off onto us too. We are very lucky to have the memories and that we can have a small part in caring for that memory.