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« Blind Pig & The Acorn - Appalachian Dialect | Main | Greasy Cove Tennessee Washington County March the 2nd 1863 - Letter 5 »

August 13, 2014

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I just told a big black lie. I love sweet pickles which uses vinegar which is fermented. And I'm sitting here shaking a jar of soured milk, hoping to make some real butter and buttermilk. I'll let you know how it turns out. I don't remember anyone going by the signs to churn buttermilk. The little symbol on my calendar says the signs are in the feet. Reckon I will get stinky buttermilk?

Tipper,
I try to plant, harvest, and can
by the signs above the heart. My
aunt Toots use to make kraut in a
churn, had this plate and pretty
creek rock to hold everything down.
She could make Kraut so sour it'd
make a pig squeel! Loved all the
comments...Ken

Tipper, We like to eat pickle anything but never tried to pickle anything. Dah! Eva Nell

p.s. WANT TO SHARE A NOTE- later. ew

Having never had a particular penchant for pickled or otherwise fermented preserves, I have never put much thought to when the process commenced or how it proceeded. I know precious little of the culinary expertise of my paternal pedigree. However my mother and her mother professed to be purists in the study of all things Luna.
Gramma Breedlove didn’t do anything without consulting the Almanac unless she already knew. I think she had the dad blamed thing memorized. “Ain’t no use of goin fishin today. The signs ain’t right!” She was almost always right. Of course, when the signs were right and I still didn’t catch any, it had to have been the bait.
Gramma planted, harvested, canned, pickled, jellied, krauted, killed and cured by the signs, along with a myriad of other everyday occurrences. Mommy tried to follow her but never reached pinnacle of purity that Gramma did.
Personally I think the reason people who live by the signs achieve a greater degree of success is that every day their attention is forced to what needs to be done now and what needs to wait. To those who believe that to live by the signs is heresy may I ask, Who hung the stars? Who hung the moon?

There were certain times that my Grandmother would not make kraut. I assume it was by the signs, she let hers work in the jars.
I know my Mother would not can tomatoes at a certain time of the month, due to the horror stories told her by her Mother.
Neither of them would put up any produce, tomatoes, beans, pickles or kraut in a number #13 jar. Known in many areas of the mountains as bad luck. Neither would moonshiners use a #13 jar, a lot of times they were broke on a rock and left in the mountains.

I used to can a lot and canned when the time was right, vegetables were ready and I had time, never by the signs.
In other words, before the vegetables spoiled or when I had enough cucumbers to make a run of pickles. I tried kraut once, not good, I worked mine in a crock back then, I think there was some curious peeks by kids...so I gave up the process as we didn't eat much kraut anyway when he kids were small. Now a days we love the stuff, cooked with pork, homemade Rueben sandwiches, hotdogs and pinto beans, used much like a relish. I buy mine in glass jars, but of course homemade is the best.
My Dad said his Mother kept her pickles in large barrel type crocks in the cool cellar as well as kraut, never canned in jars until later years when my aunt canned for just the two of them....They were German extraction so knew the ropes of keeping it that way!
Love this post,
thanks Tipper,
PS..I could eat a big old all beef grilled hotdog with kraut and a side of pickles about now.
It is lunch time!

I have never pickled by the signs, but will have to give it a try. Thanks for a great post that has got me thinking!

Tipper, I do believe I found your site while googling for pickled veggies. I have become a believer in the signs after a couple of failed attempts and a few successes. I only use signs with pickling, and usually plant anything according to weather. I have great success with planting seeds before rain forecasts and plants on cloudy days. This assures I don't end up with sad droopy plants. It amazes me that while growing up, we just went to a huge garden with hoes, water, fertilizer, and bare rooted plants. The garden was always a huge success!
If I ever start having trouble with garden, I will surely be checking your site for hints or dragging out the almanac.

I can't be of any help. You and your information have been my lifeline for canning. Thanks for the info you were able to gather.

My Mother,Father and Granparent's alway's went with the zodiac sign's for farming . The farmer's almanac was an important guide for them and now also to me. I now pass it on to my Son. For pickling bean's corn,etc and puting up sour kraut in the churn the best time is when the sign's are in the head and above the heart. I love sour kraut right out of the churn and also pickled ramp's.

Tipper, those are excellent questions, have you received any answers to them? I think fermenting may also be affected by the moon phase. We use salt to pickle/ferment. The function of the salt is to draw the liquid out of the vegetable you are pickling. The moon affects the water on the earth and therefore the water in the vegetables.
It is said that the full moon is the time w3hen most babies are born. The Deer Hunter was born a few days before his due date. The moon was full that night.
I figure that it's the moon's effect on water is the reason it prompts the birth of babies, since babies are floating, and sometimes swimming, in their own sea of water.
So back to the vegetables. Which phase of the moon would facilitate the extraction of water from the vegetables?

As much as I do things as in days of olde I have never heard of Pickling by the signs---so I await your new on the findings---but perhaps that is why sometimes the kraut taste better than other times---always blame it on the cabbage.

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