My newest niece, was born last Thursday at around 2:30 in the morning. I found out a few hours later at 6am when I was woken up by the ringing doorbell of my brother trying to get back into his house. This is niece 2 along with 5 nephews, under the age of 6. My brothers are clearly doing their part to resolve the shidduch crisis for the next generation by making lots of baby boys. But let me take a step back. At 2pm Wednesday afternoon I got a frantic phone call and 2 texts from my brother and his wife asking me to come watch their older kids, 3 adorable, precocious, and very close in age to each other boys, so they could go to the hospital. Happy to oblige, I took the container of pickles I had just put up to ferment and stuck them in the fridge. Reasoning with myself, I thought, self, last time you ran to your brother’s because a baby was born you ended up staying for 5 days, and pickles usually get moved to the fridge after 3 days of fermentation on the counter, so let’s not have our pickles turn to mush, let’s delay the fermentation process a bit. I regularly make pickles, because, well, I love them. And because drinking lacto fermented pickle juice is like a healthy bacteria party for your digestive track. Returning after Shabbos I took said pickles out of the fridge and stuck them on the counter. It is now 4 days later and instead of delicious sour pickle spears I have a soggy mess. They look odd, and they taste terrible. The only other thing I did differently was to ferment them in a food grade plastic container and not a glass one, though I don’t see why that should have made any difference. I looked all over the internet to see if some wise person could tell me if the brief stint in the fridge was what killed my attempt at lacto fermentation, or if it was just one of those things that randomly does not work out, like when bread doesn’t rise, sometimes they happy bacteria just don’t want to play. Alas, the internet has failed to enlighten me, so if you have any thoughts send em my way.
On a related note, I was very excited to meet my new niece. Don’t get me wrong I love my 5 nephews more than I knew I could love anyone. But at a certain point you can’t buy another blue sweater as a baby gift without failing to get it up. Not that all babies need to be socialized by gender normative colors. But since my brothers insist their kids need to be, and these are their kids, not mine, I have been mostly deprived of buying all those cute pink baby dresses that are totally impractical but also ridiculously endearing. In the end I realized though that they had nothing to put the baby in except blue onesies hand me downs from her older brothers, so I got a 3 pack of these cute but still practical sleep romper things from gerber baby. And am holding off on all these cute dresses that I really want to buy, til she is a few months older, after all where is a 2 week old going that she needs a party dress? And p.s. $30 for a baby dress worn for 3 months?!?! I spend $30 on a dress for me worn for 5 years. Yes I really am that cheap. What a racket.