Okay, actually we didn’t pick anything. We were going to, but good grief, this heat is ruining things for everyone! It was deemed “too hot” to pick anything at Bush N Vine in York, SC, which actually was such a good call – we struggled just taking a brief walk on the grounds!
A little backstory—I’m lucky enough to have gotten my writing job from a fellow Forest Hill church-goer. Her name is Sheila, and she has been a huge blessing in my life in so many ways. Sheila is an amazing baker and cook, and she shared with Wes and me that she enjoys pickling things.
Unbeknownst to Sheila, Wes has literally been talking about learning how to pickle for as long as I have known him. It’s kind of an inside joke for us now, so when we learned that Sheila actually does it for fun, we knew we had to join her. She and her daughter, Caitlin, invited us to get fresh produce to pickle!
Since we couldn’t do any picking, we at least did some exploring of the farm. First, we saw their bee hive, which was terrifying. Just because the bees were behind glass did not make the fact that I was in the same room with hundreds of them any less intimidating.
We left the “bee hut” to go see the farm’s surrounding landscape. There was talk of a pond, so we were on a mission to find it. After walking way too far in the heat, we came across a meadow…
I have a silly video that was my Snap-story, but I’m too cheap to pay for the version of WordPress that lets you upload video 0:) Needless to say, the “meadow” was underwhelming, and after walking across it, there was no pond. We turned around.
Time to get homemade ice cream and buy fresh produce!
The summer vegetable and fruit options were great (although they ran out of blackberries): We got lots of okra and cucumbers for pickling, avocados so I can try to make my own guacamole, peaches (I think I’m going to make some ice cream!), an onion (cause I’m obsessed), lemons, and red & jalapeño peppers, which Wes proceeded to eat like they were nothing. Oh, and they had delicious strawberry ice cream that I got swirled with vanilla—I ate it before I remembered to get a picture!
On the way back to our house, we stopped in super-cute downtown Fort Mill and ate at Hobo’s. Y’all—if you have not eaten there, I’d highly recommend you visit very soon. It was delicious. And they have a burger called the “T Money” that uses grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. We all considered ordering it, but then we all also chickened-out. Next time…
After our “linner” (we ate at like 3:45, 4pm and we hadn’t had lunch), it was time to get to pickling!
I wish I could tell you what exactly went into the pickling, but I can’t. Sheila’s “recipe” is basically using her nose. She had made up some spice blends (one literally smelled like a savory Christmas, that’s really the best way to describe it) that we put in the bottoms of the jars before adding the vegetables.
Wes did his fair share of pickling…
We added spices, peppercorn, lemon slices, and some sort of pepper to the jars for the okra:
Then we added the okra and some red peppers to make them “pretty!”
Then Sheila whipped up some beautiful concoction of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to make the “brine.” And voila! You have a jar of soon-to-be pickled okra!
Then we made some hot pickles out of the cucumbers (in case you didn’t know that pickles come from cucumbers, sheesh).
Same process—spices and jalapeños in at the bottom, add some pickle spears and red peppers, then top off with some more jalapeños. Another brine solution is made and then you get…
And there you have it! That was our pickling fun this past Saturday. My husband is a very happy man. A multi-year-long inside joke has finally come to fruition. Oh, and if you’re interested in having something pickled, he’s apparently going to start his own company. We got you.
I’m so grateful to have such fun people in my life! Despite the fact that I personally don’t like pickles or okra, I had such a happy day! And really, what more can you ask for?