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August 13, 2008

Great Scott, Marty! Cuke to the Future!


Let us step into that ultimate of laboratories, the kitchen, and bend time and space to our will.


Here is the starting point – you have a bowl full of cucumbers and crave pickles. Yet you know from experience – for who among us has not delved into the pickling arts – that the transformation from cucumber to pickle takes several weeks.


Science would tell us that the shortest distance between today and two weeks from now is through a wormhole. Yet, until these devices become available on the consumer market, the rest of us appear as if we will have to wait like a bunch of suckers.


Except perhaps not. We shall now engage in work that could potentially land us in the books with history’s greatest wizards.


We start with a knife, that bowl of cucumbers and a red onion.


Slice both the cucumbers and the red onion. What size, you ask? Why, pickle sized, of course!


Mix together and put into a large bowl.


In a separate bowl, you will brew the potion that you will need to bring the very fabric of the universe under your control. Mix together a cup and a half of sugar with a cup of vinegar. Stir until they form a thick, whitish sludge.


When that happens, add a tablespoon and a half of salt plus a teaspoon of two kinds of seed – one each of dill seed and celery seed.


Look down at what you have created. Consider the moment. Go into the bathroom and look into the mirror. See that thing looking back at you. It is a mighty thing indeed. It has just created the stuff that bends time and space. Admire it.


Go back into the kitchen. It is time to bend time and space to your will. Feel the moment. Be the moment.


Pour your elixir over the cucumber and onion slices. Mix it in well.


You will note that the liquid does not entirely cover the cucumbers and onions. This is fine. The salt will draw the natural juices of the cucumber and you will soon have enough liquid in the bowl to do the job.


Let it sit out overnight. If you stand next to it, you will feel time speed by. Minutes become hours, hours become days. Legend has it that if you place your face over the bowl, your chin whiskers will grow and turn gray in front of your very eyes.


The next morning, two weeks will have passed. Stand on your front porch, raise your hands – fists clenched – and bellow into the morning. Do it again. And again. And again. Continue until the first police cruiser passes by.


Go back inside. You may taste one of your pickles. It will be sweet.


Transfer them from the bowl into a jar. Cap the jar. Unlike traditional pickling, you need not bathe the jar in boiling water for 15 minutes to seal it. The pickles will last in your refrigerator, and will in fact become tastier.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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