I mentioned in my last post that I was having to learn how to not waste food. One of the ways that people in the olden days didn't waste food was to pickle the crap out of everything. I learned how to do this a few years ago and now when I have a some extra veggies and a jar at hand, I tend to just make a jar of pickles. As I don't get home before 10pm (ok 11) most nights, snacking on a few pickles and cheese and crackers makes a great dinner. You need to keep jugs of white or apple cider vinegar around, and sugar, and different types of spices. These can include fennel, coriander, cumin, chili flakes, mustard seed, allspice, cinnamon, black peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves etc. You don't need all of them at the same time. I also like stuff cloves of garlic and whole chilies into my pickles. It's all trial and error, but it's pretty hard to screw up. Then you look like a boss because your pantry is filled with homemade pickles. Throw down with an INSANE cheese board at your next late-brunch party. Your GF's will go mutha-f#$*ing craze. Floss with some pickles...ok, i'll stop now.
Pickled Cabbage and Carrots
- 1 head red cabbage, slice as thin as you can (use a food processor if you have one)
- 4-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons of pickling spices, whatever kind you like. I used allspice, mustard seed and fennel here.
Wash your veggies really thoroughly. Some folks like to par-boil their veggies before adding the pickling liquid, but I like mine with lots of crunch, so I leave them raw. Get them sliced and packed as tightly as you can into jars. I added dried sage into my carrot jar.
Bring the sugar, vinegar, water and pickling spices to a low boil, and boil until the sugar is dissolved. Ladle the liquid over your veggies in the jars until it reaches the very very tippy top. Sometimes you have to use a chopstick to make sure you've gotten all of the air bubbles out. Then top with lids and put them in your pantry.
Some people boil their jars so that they know their pickles will last months and months, but I don't bother because I just open these guys and keep them in the fridge until they are gone 2 weeks later. On my Lost SecondShift I had a massive pickling post, but it's now lost forever :(