8/17/2014

Standard

Raven is off visiting her Mom. With a stop at the DMV to acquire the necessary registration forms. I’m working on the gate  and a large batch of cornichon pickles as I got a bunch of gherkins at the farmers market yesterday. Here’s the scoop.

Wow,

I’m tired and hot. It’s 90 in the shade but I’ve been working 5 hrs in the sun. Half juice half water every half hour. But I did it mostly. Check out the attached photos.
gatefront
gateback
That’s both gates actually the same side with the angles added for the back view. The angles still need to be attached with screws, plugged and sanded. The back of the left one still needs plugs and sanding on the other side. I think the plugged side will be back. I kind of like the angles like this as it looks like a big shield. That and it’s a tension support, easier to use the thinner plumbers tape under the angle board. I could just use the wide stuff anyway and it would be extra strong. I’ll need to cut a slot in the angle board to except the metal using the table saw.
It’s pretty heavy, I can carry one side with some difficulty. I’ll need to cut some angle scrap to hang it level. I’m not sure how square it is but tried to keep it straight. It’s all glued and not going to move. Maybe one more day of prep work before hanging it.
By the way per Cathy’s request, I did not use the putty filled board as it didn’t look great, ended up bending the warped board into the laminations straight, good. I am using putty in places to fill small cracks. If you notice the right arc has no cracks as I filled them and the putty is tinted to match.
Research on finishing says to wait a month or more for the wood to dry before treatment. Right now it’s soaking up some rays to redden it. Thought, could stain the sap wood redder, or just leave it in contrast natural.
Time to can the 9 pounds of pickles as it’s cooler inside.
OK, pickles are done, 11 pints of tarragon cornichons light on the boil at 7 minutes to keep them crunchy.

Wash and brush with a China town brown brush to remove the black spines. Two cups of Kosher salt overnight for 9 lbs gherkins. A bit salty, I let them soak an hour and rinsed, they taste right, drained. Cover to dry while I worked the gate.
Put the big canning boiler on while chopping garlic and onions in somewhat large pieces, pick some small grape leaves and CA bay laurel cut in thirds as they are strong. Prepare 5 cups white vinegar with 2 1/2 cups water to boil (2:1 ratio). Boil the tools. Bake the clean jars at 215 F in the oven. Throw the lids in the boil bucket in a mesh bag, then to the sterile colander
In each jar:
a grape leaf
a third bay leaf (CA bay is much stronger, 1 English bay leaf)
3/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
1 tsp + garlic (about)
Tblsp onion
a big sprig of tarragon
a good sprig of thyme
Fill the jars each with same size cucumbers packed to the top and cover with the hot vinegar solution, clean top add the lid and screw mostly tight. Boil seven jars at a time for 7 minutes and get them out pronto. Normal canning calls for 10 minutes, you can do that but with this much vinegar and salt they’ll be alright, I want them crispy. High acid and salt will preserve them, the boil is overkill, but to prevent botulism is important for long term preservation. The lids popped to seal. 11 jars of my favorite pickles.
A good day.

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