Friday, September 07, 2007

Consider the Pickle.

This time of year, I start to stockpile. It turns out, pickling is easy. I chopped up some cucumbers, fit them into a jar, filled it about a third of the with vinegar, added water, added salt to taste (and sugar to taste, if desired), and added more vinegar until full. Brilliant. If desired (and desired it was indeed!), one can add a bunch of chopped garlic, shallots (because they fit better than onion, and are a bit milder), and "pickling spices," which run the gamut from cloves to cilantro seeds. You can buy a mix, or pull the seeds off your bolting plants, or pick and choose from your spice rack. I also pickled beets with vinegar, water, a touch of sugar, a cinnamon stick, ginger, and hot pepper flakes. You have only to boil them first and remove the skins. Theirs is the most beautiful jar: they are blood-red and juicy.