Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pickles, Pigs and the Puyallup Fair...

So I haven't posted in over two weeks. Life has been crazy and the weekends (my usual preferred posting time) have been packed. Since my last post we spent a weekend in Vancouver, WA with Sam's sister Jodi (previously mentioned multiple times in this blog) and roadtripped to Eastern WA the next weekend to watch the Cougs get pummeled by the Ducks. Yikes.

So now it's time to share some other interesting things the Nielsons have been up to since my last post. First things first...


While we were down visiting Jodi and Jason in Vancouver two weekends ago, we went to Sauvie Island and visited the Pumpkin Patch which has a huge produce and flower market with some pretty good deals on yummy fresh foods. This is one of my favorite things!! I have this big thing about buying fresh and local, and I love any chance to practice what I preach.

While we were purusing the market, we came across a display where they had conveniently laid out everything one would need to make and can their own pickles. Now, I have this thing for pickles. I love them. I eat them from the jar with a fork on a daily basis and the thought of making homemade delicous pickles that don't contain "Yellow #5" was very appealing. So, we bought up a 10lb. bag of pickling cukes, a dozen canning jars, some dill, vinegar, and pickling salt.

I did my research and found what I thought to be the best recipe on the internet (how could 150 reviewers be wrong?) and we got to work. It was a blast. Well, apart from our house smelling like a pickle jar for a week. The recipe said to not eat the pickles until they've been sitting in the brine for 8 weeks, but I dug in after a day and was not disappointed! In fact, it's been almost 2 weeks now and I officially just ate the last pickle from jar #1. Hopefully all 10 jars actually make it to the 8 weeks so I can see what all the fuss was about!

Anyways, it was a fun project and now we're all inspired to can something else. Apples? Peaches? Pears?? We'll see, and I'll keep you posted. Oh I know, you're on the edge of your seat. Don't they look fun though? They make a great addition to the top of my cabinets in the kitchen and I feel Oh-so-domestic.


So some of my happiest childhood memories are of my summers spent at the Puyallup Fair. It was one day at the fair with my parents (I was probably 10 or 11?) when I was super inspired (yes, 11 year olds can be inspired!) to join 4H. I was so envious of the kids in the horse and dog barns who got to show off their cool pets and I knew I had to do it. Enter Dominoe. As my 4H dog for 4 years with the pivotal part of our year spent at the Puyallup Fair, it was an emotional trip to the fair this year. But it was fun. It'll always have a special place in my heart. Where else can you get a picture with creepy people dressed up as barn yard animals??

Or kiss the smallest, cutest sheep I've ever seen?? Ok, I didn't actually kiss him... but it made for a fun picture, right?

We also got to see a 4 day old piglet who was incredibly small and cute, and Sam got to eat the biggest hamburger I've ever seen... none other than the "Earthquake Burger." As if that wasn't enough, he had to get the french fries on the side that are served as a 6"x6" cube and eat every last bite of it.

This picture doesn't do the burger justice. It was huge. And delicious. Gotta love the fair!!


  1. I'm totally impressed by your domesticity. And maybe even more impressed that you got Sam to help you.

    I love canning! Just yesterday I helped a friend do some pears. Love it!

  2. Oh I love all the little barn animals! I wish we could go to the fair. But my favorite is the look on the lady's face behind Sam as he is eating his burger....classic.

    Please come visit us and teach me to be more domestic. I know how to cook casseroles. Does that count? I miss you!!

  3. I'm very impressed. Your pickles look yummy! I like the pigs know those little pink things make me happy! (Yon know what I mean).

  4. Homemade pickles? Wow, you guys are ambitious. Looks really yummy!

  5. Tell the truth, at one point when Sam was eating that burger did one of you say, "This burger would be SO much better if it had one of our homemade pickles on it!" Even if you say that you didn't say that I won't believe you.

  6. Way to make pickles. You will have to share the recipe! We are at

  7. I'm agreeing with Carl...I think you guys are going to be pickle snobs now and you'll never be able to go back to store bought again. Way to go!! :)

  8. My mouth just waters at the sight of those wonderful pickles -- takes me back to my childhood - the scent of fresh dill - i always snitched a little to munch. Good for you guys!

  9. Cute post, it was fun reading about the good ol' fair! I miss that so much! You will have to teach me how to can stuff, we had sooo many tomatoes this year and I think we are done with em with the snow here already!! No more BLT's!! boo hooo!! Yeah, I also noticed the lady in the background of Sam's picture, gave me a good laugh!! hehe..!! xoxoxo

  10. Hey! I thought I commented on this post, but I guess not. I'm not a huge pickle fan but the hamburger looked good!

    Where have you been? I am eagerly awaiting your next post!

    Love ya!

  11. hello!This was a really brilliant post!
    I come from itlay, I was luck to discover your theme in bing
    Also I obtain much in your theme really thanks very much i will come later

  12. What a great idea to put the jars on top of your kitchen cabinets! Never realized I had all that "storage" space up there!


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