And then there was Frank. Ohhhh Boy. You ready for this?
Frank, Frank, Frank… whatever are we gunna do wich you? He was a man large of life. Tall, a shade over 6’0″ perhaps closer to 6’1″, in his late 60’s or early 70’s, full head of silvery white hair, athletic build, and blessed with an insatiable personal the size of which only his nose could match.
He was a good looking man and it lent power to his womanizing ways as a younger male. Oh the stories! We, as a crew of young males just trying out puberty, were all confronted with the smoothness of the front of our seats as he spoke and spoke so well, of his female experiences in all their graphic glory and delights. Frank was a quasi-James Bond in our neck of the woods; somewhat suave, something sophisticated, somewhere slutty, and of course somehow still safe and alive from all the bed hopping a man could muster in a colourful and long lifetime. Recalling his age now; a plump and marriage swindling 71 and yet still in it for a penny and all the pounds. He loved women and they loved Frank too.
Did I mention the rear row of seats in his full sized van that vibrated with the flick of a switch? Yes… for the ladies and 71 years of living life was not going to inhibit or discourage his sense of adventure but rather, only to serve to express his ingenuity in the romantic sphere that is of the making of Frank and only our Dear Frank.
Three things he loved; it was golf for sure, it was Lemon Hart dark rum for double sure, and it was a fridge full of Eugene’s homemade pickle’s on every hot day. Dare to guess the rest of the story? I think not for this is my joyous task to introduce to you the real man’s Gatorade.
Eugene, like all lifetime bachelors, learned to fend for himself on the river of personal freedom and the pleasure cruise of “being good to one’s self”. Why? Well young grasshopper, there is no one else to be good to you. Thus, it is good and always good to treat yourself right when it is only you to look back in the mirror. One of his choosing was to make homemade pickles.
As a hunter we already know he is “hands on”. Once the wild game (usually deer or elk and even moose from time to time) is butchered, the meat of the beast (as hunters often do) is canned. He is no stranger to the kitchen and all its neat tricks and tales for taste and survival. Pickling is a mere extension of this.
The pickles were once cucumbers grown his is garden and because of this, Frank knew the pickle window was a limited one; mid-summer. Each pickler, over years of trial and error, find the recipe that he/she is comfortable with. For Eugene, this recipe was one that produced soft pickles. Soft as is the kind of pickle that lacks crunch. If crunchy pickles is what you so desire, everywhere in the world sells this so go and take a short drive to purchase the crunch. Eugene’s garden was small and this was directly reflected in his “small batch” recipe and results.
Oddly, the soft pickles were a pure delight for us indulge in and the price was always oh so right. When the mason jar lid was removed with a firm grip and solid twist of the screw band, and the actual lid pried with a butter knife, the discovery inside was, well… unique.
End of Part 2