Monday, November 8, 2010

The Great Pickle-Off (Amongst Other Things)

A while ago, Ruby’s Dad sent home three jars of the most wonderful pickle and a few days later, at a kid pick-up, my Mr went and introduced himself as Ruby’s Dad’s New Best Friend. Not long after, Ruby’s Dad hatched a plan for a Pickle-Off. A plot in two parts: Part One involves all-in pickling at their house, Part Two is all about tomato chutney at ours.

After a busy Saturday, I can tell you that Part One was just what the doctor ordered for Sunday. It was a cruisy, relaxed, in-fabulous-company afternoon, involving this:




(would you like to see those stunning, dried-on-racks-in-the-homemade-drying-machine limes again?)


and a bit of this:

(because to be honest, the two dads were the ones critically involved in pickle-craft action. The rest of us were a bit involved in trampoline bouncing, or frog collection, or games of toddler chasey or whatnot):

And voila! An enviable stash of four varieties of tasty, pickle-y delicious:

Then we all ate curry for dinner, of course. A Sunday made up of all kinds of YUM.




As predicted, the visits from friends of the bloggy persuasion and otherwise were the nicest highlights of the market on Saturday. As were the chats with market neighbours. As was hanging out with the Mr: much, much nicer to do a market with someone tall, dark, handsome (and generally excellent) with bonus muscles for carrying stuff. I’m back in Daylesford for the Christmas market on the 27th. If the Mr isn’t able to make it, I’ll attempt to convince my generally excellent mum to do tall, dark and handsome (with bonus muscles for carrying stuff).

Much excitement chez Myrtle and Eunice this fine morn. Against all odds, my thumb appears to have turned the faintest shade of green with the sprouting of the teensiest zinnia-let (I’m entirely positive this is not a weed-let). Of the twenty planted loo rolls, this is the first to sprout it’s head above the parapet. The Middle saw what I was applauding and let out an emphatic – a really emphatic, (like with exclamation marks) AWESOME!! I’m thinking I could do with less ‘exclaim’ and more horticultural respect.

Naturally I shall be torturing all and sundry with blow-by-blow zinnia progress. Blame Susie.

Yesterday was Grandad’s birthday and with bleary, post-market, late-to-bed-early-to-rise-eyes, I crafted an X Marks the Spot magnetic bookmark for the birthdaying bookworm. Not only have I mastered whole minutes of knitting-without-looking, apparently I can also stitch-while-snoozing.

Just because I can and just because I’d be amazed if anyone reached the end of this waffley post at all, the first person to nut out and EMAIL me ( with the correct title of that book above, wins a brown paper package tied up with string, filled with a few of my favourite things. (top tip: click on the image to spot the clues).

Same goes for anyone with an Extraordinary Fact About Anything up their sleeves. Leave a COMMENT containing said Extraordinary Fact About Anything and the Middle Kid will choose a winner tomorrow (Tuesday) evening. May I assure you, the judging process will occur with great and earnest diligence. (top tip: the judging kid is heartily taken with creatures of any description and knows quite some Extraordinary Facts About Anything. Best not hold back).



Michelle said...

Mmm.. pickles!

Jungle Book! Isn't it? The illustration looks kinda familiar.

Stand by for something interisting... maybe.

Ange Moore said...

The blue whale has the largest bladder capacity of any mammal - able to hold nearly 21 litres of urine! That's a lot of wee!!

One Flew Over said...

Glad you had a great time at market!

LOVE your images of the chutney prep x

Michelle said...

Cicadas have some very interesting names! I'd love to know who came up with them. Names like:

Green Grocer
Cherry Nose
Yellow Monday
Double Drummer
Floury Baker! Do they bake bread and cakes?
Hairy Cicada (I assume they are hirsute)
Bladder Cicada (maybe they hold 21 litres of wee, like the whale in the comment above?)

Ange Moore said...

Oh I've just found this interesting fact too (and I love the word cloaca)!

Birds do both wees and poos at the same time. The Urea is the white part of the droppings and the feces is the dark coloured part of the droppings. There are no birds that can solely urinate - it all comes out of the same hole which is called the cloaca!

Interesting fact. Many vultures poo on their own legs to protect them from bad bacteria in rotten carcasses affecting their skin. It has actually been known for vultures to enter a carcass and eat their way out.

And here endeth the lesson (and thoughts of poo and wee - yes, I have a 4 year old in my house)!

Tanya said...

Relevent to me odd fact.
It is illegal in Chicago for a woman to ride a horse wearing shorts if they weigh over 91kg.
This may not amuse middle child as much as it amuses me!

Cat said...

That magnetic bookmark is a great pressie idea, mental note made for Christmas ideas;)

Fun Fact care of Miss 11's Human Body Book.
You can't learn to curl your tongue. You're either born with this ability or not. It's inherited from your parents.

Michelle said...

Glad you had a good market, and super impressed that you then came home and crafted the book mark.

Love pickles and chutney - the jars are giving me condiment envy.

Interesting fact (although probably can't compete with all the poo and wee above) zebras are black with white stripes, not white with black stripes.

june at noon said...

We have a lot of cows around here, so here are some cow facts:

*Cows can have regional accents

*A cow's only sweat glands are in its nose.

*Twelve or more cows is called a flink.

And, best for last:

*Just one cow gives off enough harmful methane gas in a single day to fill around 400 liter bottles.

Pick me, pick me!

Lola Nova said...

There is so much goodness in this post, I'm still trying to process it all whilst suddenly having a craving for pickles.

Deer Antlers were the inspiration for the latest scientific breakthrough concerning prosthetic limbs.
Scientists looked at how deers' antlers can grow through the animals' skin without infection. The current breakthrough uses a metal implant that locks into a prosthetic limb. The metal implant passes through the skin and the artificial limb can be directly attached to it.

Currently, artificial limbs are fixed or strapped to an amputee's stump.

Risk of infection, which could be caused by bacteria passing from the external limb through the rod to the bone, is avoided because the skin tissue meshes around the rod to form a seal. This could mean for major progress in prosthetics!

Kylie said...

Phew!! I'm so glad someone has already guessed that book (pressure off coz I had no idea!) Wow Mrs, you have been busy... Glad the markets went well... I loved the daddy-pickle story and... your X-marks-the-spot bookmark is all fabulousness (Kirsty is a kindred spirit ideas-woman to you) :)

Extraordinary Fact:
If you lined up every single animal species and type in a long line, what would every 5th animal be???

A beetle :)

K x

Fippa said...

Jeez, you are a popular blogger! Look at all these commenters who are into you even after a long and rambling post! It was so fantastic to meet you on the week-end and thanks for keeping me company in between rush hours. Happy pickle eating xoxo Phillippa

Beck said...

Ok so I missed out on the book this much! Great post, I enjoyed every wordy second of it. Hope you and the Mr enjoyed your downtime in the Big D, it was lovely to see you!

Now, my interesting (questionable) fact is this...did you know there is a real life website dedicated to all things pickle? Yep, truly exists. Spread the word...

Enjoy your Monday beautiful xo

Stomper Girl said...

Oh I don't know : what about a cat has a better chance of surviving unscathed a fall from the 7th floor of a building than one from the 3rd floor, due to terminal velocity and the fact that when a cat reaches terminal velocity it relaxes?

Glad the market went so well. I make my man be my roadie too, it's the best.

Sue said...

I didn't have any idea about the book despite being the mother of once cub scouts.
Did you know that humans can see over 7,000,000 colours. Most of them in the yellow/green spectrum. also just like hearing and vision, colour perception diminishes rapidly after the age of 50. Yikes.

Sarah said...

Oh fun!

How about baby sloths sometimes fall out of trees because they mistake their own limbs for a tree limb?

Or the reason snakes let us hold them (sometimes) is because they perceive us as warm trees (no kidding, I learnt that one in Madagascar when a wild boa constrictor went to sleep on my arm!)

Hope you find out lots of interesting facts!

Fer said...

Anthophobia is the fear of flowers, lets hope the toilet rolls don't suffer from it!

spectacularfairywren said...

I learned this from my son's 'count to one-hundred' book this morning...

The Australian Coat of Arms has an emu and a kangaroo (no news there). The reason for these beasts appearing is that NEITHER CAN WALK BACKWARDS and hence Australia's motto is always 'moving forwards together'...

Julia should have advertised this a bit more... I would have voted for an emu.

Kirsty said...

Glad the market was great & that you had the lovely Mr along for the ride.

The "x" looks fabulous. x

Cinnamon said...

I can't remember where I picked this little gem up, but a group of turtles all together is called a "bale". Does that qualify as interesting?

flowerpress said...

Respect! A seedlet, hoorah!
We love a good pickle here, nothing like a line of jars full of homemade stuff. We're making ginger beer from a ginger beer plant this week!
p.s. so glad your market was fun :-)

Mel said...

I recently helped myself to a corned beef and pickle sandwich at a family do and was heartily congratulated for being, "a young person who likes pickles". Apparently we're a dying breed. Oh and just so you know my mouth was literally WATERING looking at all those bottles of pickle-y goodness.

Ok random fact: Um the only one my brain can summon up at the moment is that bees and dogs can smell fear (thank you "Jerry McGuire" for that little tidbit).

Ngaire said...

I picked up this little fact one day while listening to the ABC. Taiwan has a population of roughly the same size of Australia but it it fitted into an area about 1/3 the size of Tasmania.

Christina Lowry said...

Happy pickle eating!

I thought this was pretty interesting - The silkworm moth has eleven brains.

Some men make me wonder if they have half a brain, let alone eleven. :)

A Peppermint Penguin said...

I thought that was a most excellent post. Didn't even try for the book, cos others were faster and smarter.

Haven't got anything interesting in the factoid department either. Woeful.

But I just wanted to say that the photos are fab as usual and I've very glad you had such a good time on Saturday.



Suse said...

I was going to tell you how giraffes have blue-black tongues that are 20 inches long, but then I read Tanya's interesting fact and realised the competition must surely now be closed.

Mrs Button said...

I realise I don't get a vote but if I can influence the judging in any way, I opt for the kg limit related to the safety of the horse or the wearing of the shorts...this is a fact that leaves you with a thirst for more knowledge. How did the Christmas tags go? Any left over? Lisa x

Unknown said...

Animals - eg dogs - actually speak the language of their owners. If you said 'hello' to a French dog - they wouldn't know what you were talking about. You can however teach your dog to speak multiple languages!

twitchy fingers said...

A lovely full post! Chockers (not rambling!). The Mary River Turtle can breathe through its bum! Well, it is actually called ' cloacal respiration' but it is still funny! Females are also bigger than males which is unusual in the animal world...

Anonymous said...

Whale poo is red, and very runny, often mistaken for blood.

My bestie is a zoologist, as is her little sister, and they are very handy people to have on the end of a phone if your three year old starts wondering about, for example, the diet and sleeping habits of the Hippopotamus.

Catherine said...

um, well, male marsupials (like koalas), generally have a two pronged penis... um, Tania, hope I'm not in trouble??? (fact thanks to my husband...)

tea with lucy said...

Bees communicate with each other by dancing. They do a little dance that tells the other bees the distance and direction to the good flowers.

(. . . and i have many many more fascinating bee facts!)

Sandrine said...

How fun is that!I just did my education here :)
Yay for a good market and some muscles, pickles, bookmark etc :)
Well when I firt came to this beautiful country I thought these laughing birds were related to my home chickens :) non?!:)

KerrieB said...

I don't know if this is as interesting as previous comments but the blackbird can hear its food (worms) wriggling under the ground. Learnt this from my 7yo's homework reader.

silverpebble said...

I spy a tiny baby zinnia. You have TOTALLY made my day.

You dry limes? What for? What for? I'm intrigued.

Daan said...


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Pickled to death by this post ! I love the idea of dried limes .
So glad you had a great day at the Fair .... of course it does help to have good staff .
I'm also very taken with the bookmark , such a chic alternative to my ratty train ticket . A good project for next weekend .

kjansma said...

Hmm. How about this one: You only breathe out of one nostril at a time. They switch off about every 20 minutes.

Neen said...

Just found your blog and am having a great time exploring it! I love odd facts. Did you know an ants sense of smell is as good as a dogs?

Kate Moore said...

What a lovely waffling post. Just right for lunchtime reading.

Umatji said...

well with research field of two families, I have found that despite everyone knowing that mothers will do anything to protect their young, it is obviously confused by having more that one young. Example. mother will knock the brain out of younger child in sling trying to stop older child falling off the side of a dam. example two, mother will knock the brain out of child in sling trying to stop a sandpit lid landing on older child. Hmm, not quite what you were thinking of perhaps but might appeal to an older child??? no???

librarygirl said...

Hello darl
i liked this post
librarygirl x

Cindy said...

Yay for the markets and pickle prep! Hope you guys are super. Saw this and thought the toilet roll dude might like it/ or mum would appreciate it.

kelly said...

Ack. Emailed you then realised that because of the time difference I was lagging way behind.

Ho hum.

Here's an interesting fact:

I can fit THREE cadbury crem eggs or 3 walnut whips in my mouse and still talk. I don't have hamster cheeks for nuthin'.

Bet no one else has that amazing fact.

elly bee said...

1. dolphins sleep with one eye open
2. the eye of a emoe is bigger then its brains
3. butterflies taste with their legs
4.a cockroach can live 9 days without head, then it dies of starvation
5. crocodiles cannot put their tongue outsiede their mouth

Nilly said...

Hello my new market Friend! We met at the makers market....I read your blog but haven't commented until now...sold a few scarves....and enjoyed the view of your lovely stall all day! See you around maybe!! Paula

silverpebble said...

I was clearly in a fog when I read this. I know the winner's been picked and all (hurray for a brown paper package and vultures) and it's Friday now but my nerdy hat flew onto my head and I had to think of a good one for Mr Middle anyway:

Rabbits, capybaras and hamsters have to digest their food twice. This means that they eat half of their own poos in any given day.

Baby elephants and hippos eat their Mums' poos to make sure they have good bacteria in their guts.

I think I'd rather a slice of toast, but each to their own and all that.