IF YOU ARE a registered voter, you have probably received your ballot in the mail by now.
Tired and disillusioned, many American voters feel like we are in a national pickle: stuck in an uncomfortable situation with no obvious solution.
Amid so many conflicting and strident voices, we jostle for dominance, adamantly sure we are right and thrown into a murky barrel of brine we call the American experiment.
At heart, both pickling and democracy are transformative, synergistic processes.
Both require vigilance to avoid a disastrous, rotten mess.
Both can be messy and uncomfortable.
Both require optimism and a willingness to be changed by the interactive process.
Neither can be completely controlled and despite the unpredictability, or perhaps because of it, both can result in something unexpectedly nutritious and delicious.
Sometimes you just have to take the long view, respect each other and keep faith in the process.
Pickling in America has come to refer specifically to a brined cucumber.
Worldwide, pickling is more generally known as a food preservation method involving acidification and can be used with any food including vegetables, fruits and meats.
Food can be pickled using a salt, water and vinegar brine, or by fermentation in which naturally occurring micro-organisms perform the acidification through the production of lactic acid.
As a particularly passionate pickle maker, I keep my best recipes proprietary (sorry, no transparency here), but the following is a wonderful way to pickle the last of our summer harvest.
Betsy Wharton is a Port Angeles Farmers Market vendor, Washington State University Extension food preservation information assistant and a registered nurse at First Step Family Support Center. More about her pickling enterprise can be found at www.Clallam CanningCompany.com.