I was more cautious this year, less ambitious. I took home half the amount of cucumbers from the farmers' market than I had taken home the previous year. I kept a close eye on my crock, tasting one from my batch daily. Ten days later, I decided that they were ready, transferred them into clean jars and moved them into the fridge to stop the fermentation process.
Altogether I ended up with eight jars of beautiful, cloudy, sour dills that reminded me of my grandmother's old-world recipe. The best part being that I just had to let nature work - no steamy vinegar kitchen, no hot water baths.
The Bees have been talking a lot lately about the concept of "simple living" and came to the conclusion that our lives are anything but simple. We voluntarily make more work for ourselves because we believe in the importance of making things by hand. I could simply go to the grocery store and buy myself a jar of full-sour pickles. I may have been even more inclined after failing last year to give up completely. But it was important to me to support my local farmer, important to me to provide for myself and my husband over the winter months, and important to me to learn from my past mistakes. Having achieved all of that this year gives me more fulfillment than could ever be bought in a store, and that's exactly why we do what we do.