Pickles

chive blossom vinegar

I’ve been on the road and came home to a blooming plant and I thought I have to tell EVERYONE to make chive blossom vinegar. Listen up. Make this pretty vinegar today. Today! Because chive blossoms only come once a year and this little jar of goodness will take awhile to develop and you will want it. You will want it on spring garden greens, the tender mesclun, the bright Bibb lettuce heads. All those good greens are coming or are already at your farmers market. For those of us in the mid-Atlantic and further South, the tender greens can’t take the heat, so they’re not around for long. Just like those chive blossoms. With all the travel, I’m feeling a little frazzled and hectic. […]

how to eat (a lot of) black radish

About a million years ago, long before I ever thought I would write a blog, let alone a book, I was invited to a friend’s home for Passover. Jean had a family, two kids, a dog, a house and school pickups and all those other things that I, single girl, city dweller, didn’t even have on my radar screen. The dinner was sensational. The foods, some traditional and familiar to me, others new experiences. The dinner was better than any I ever had at my grandmother’s table (sorry, Gran). (Except maybe the chopped liver because that was my grandmother’s God-given gift: the lightest chopped liver in the world. Sorry, Jean.) Jean served a black radish spread/condiment before the meal, alongside the chopped liver. I couldn’t get enough […]

Giardiniera Pickle

We’re not done yet. There are still beautiful vegetables to pickle. Make giardiniera, a delicious Italian refrigerator pickle now, and enjoy it all fall. Make it again a week before Thanksgiving and have a crispy, briny, colorful addition to your holiday table. Buy the prettiest cauliflower you can find because that’s the star of this show. Like spicy? Add jalapeno, serrano or even a habenero or scotch bonnet (depending on your heat preference.) Or leave the chiles out. Your choice. Want to use this like Chicagoans do, atop a hot dog? Chop the vegetables extra small. Or, do as I do, and keep them big enough to sneak a snack from the jar on the way to making dinner. Book launch is 10 days away, friends. If you’ve […]

pickled green tomatoes

Autumn has arrived. It’s glorious. But there is some level of panic, too. It’s all ending. There goes that last truck filled with corn, here comes the first of the kale and pumpkins. Nothing makes me sadder than the tomatoes dwindling and dwindling until there is nothing but a basket of green tomatoes left. Don’t despair. Pickle some green tomatoes instead. xoMrsW Pickled Green Tomatoes Makes 4 quart jars 12 firm green tomatoes, stemmed, cored and cut into 6 or 8 pieces 4 tablespoons dill seed 4 tablespoons celery seed 3 cups white vinegar 6 cups non-chlorinated water 3/4 cup kosher or pickling salt 4 garlic cloves Pack the tomato pieces into the jars. Make ’em snuggle in there. Add one tablespoon dill seed and one […]

pickled watermelon rind

Watermelon rind pickle is not familiar to many people,  but I have fond memories of this weird and wonderful food. I wasn’t more than six or seven when the Cross and Blackwell jar with rectangles of the pickle suspended in a briny syrup called to me. My mother found me in the kitchen, an empty jar and a smile on my face. The pickle was assertive and crisp-tender, heavily spiced with cinnamon and clove. They were the most exotic food I had ever tasted. Time passed and a few years back, before I knew Stella Parks and called her my friend, I read about candied watermelon rind on her blog, The Brave Tart. Ever since, I have been making little batches of these pickles trying to figure out a way to take some […]

pickles and frickles

[I got it in my head to have another #instagrampreservation party over the weekend when I found out the first of the Kirby cucumbers were coming to the market. I’ve learned a few things, so this time around was (a little) less hectic than the strawberry jamming session.] Pickles are my happy food. Perhaps, like my cousin-in-law Jonah, my people come from the pickling capitol of Poland, or maybe it’s the childhood memory of Brauer’s stainless steel bowls of salty, crispy treats (complementary, of course). The first thing I would do? Poke around looking for the sour green tomato lurking somewhere in among the briny cukes.  The bowl was filled with a range of half and full sours, some crisp and still tasting of cucumber and others fermented into a cucumber of a […]