Pickin’ n’ grinnin’…

Now that I have your attention, I must confess…this entry will be about exactly what is in the subject line.

Pickin’ n’ grinnin’ in my mind is a vague memory from some old rerun of Hee Haw I watched when I endured an evening of babysitting.  I have my own version.  Mine involves the far more nostalgic idea of picking fruits and vegetables and then canning them, making preserves, etc.  For the last several years I find myself enamored with the thoughts of canning and preserving.  It seems such a Romantic prospect in my mind.  It harkens back to a bygone era.  Did I just say that?  It may sound corny but just think about a cold, snowy January morning.  The coffee is brewing, your home is a comfy nest, the toast pops up ready for dressing.  You move to the cupboard and pluck a jar of raspberry preserves, one that you canned fresh from berries you picked, and spread them over the toast.  Sitting by the window, watching the cardinals and chickadees frolicking in the snow and munching your toast your taste buds appreciate the labor that went into preserving those raspberries.  Come on now, doesn’t it make you want to can something?

My aunt Marge was a delightful woman.  She was technically my great aunt and she was a woman of her time.  The woman was a fabulous cook and could churn out a homemade afghan faster than you could say, “did you make that?”  It was at her farmhouse in rural Connecticut that my palate was expanded to include chili sauce and chow chow relish  (both of which she canned from her own vegetables).  Admit it, you just grinned when you read chow chow.  I smile myself silly thinking about it.

Long story short, I’ve been wanting to make chow chow relish for the past few years.  I’ve bought Mason jars, looked into the process of canning, and even have several recipes.  But I haven’t done it.  To me it’s a process best done with a few friends and ideally not in my small kitchen but it would suffice.  I’m thinking it’s in the works for next month.  Check back to see…

So pickin’ n’ grinnin’ may mean many things.  It may involve the actual plucking of fruits and vegetables.  For me it’s a figurative thing, plucking memories and preserving them for my enjoyment.

You may be asking what this has to do with my book.  Simple, the characters are pickin’ n’ grinnin’ from time to time, both literally and figuratively.  Stay tuned for more details.

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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2 Responses to Pickin’ n’ grinnin’…

  1. Jill says:

    I can’t believe it! There’s actually a food I’ve never heard of! Off to google “chow chow!” Great entry, Beth!

  2. I remember it being tasty with chicken. Aunt Marge loved making chicken fricasse (another fun word) and we put it on that. Some people put it on hot dogs. There are many uses! You can make some from the peppers in Bill’s garden if he has some!

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