Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kitchen Sunday

In like a lion is right . . . after venturing out into the whipping wind and cold twice today, once to go to the gym and again to hit the drugstore for a few essentials, I knew today would be lovely for puttering around the kitchen while the snow flew.

I accomplished a lot: I roasted some garlic and shallots for a dish later this week (see left), baked some Irish brown bread for breakfasts, roasted and pureed a squash (for later use) that was about to go south, started a recipe for preserved lemons, and fixed a tagine dinner. Whew. It sounds like a lot, but it was a relaxing, wonderful Sunday.

I also made refrigerator pickles. I got the idea from this post on Everybody Likes Sandwiches (an exciting new discovery), and took it from there. I'm not a bread-and-butter pickle person, so I made mine the sour, salty dill variety.

I highly recommend these, as they offer both crunchy goodness and same-day gratification. The picture shows the pickle jars sandwiching my soon-to-be preserved lemons. I'll offer the recipe after I can gauge the success of the results. The summery colors and flavors are a welcome diversion from the endless gray days.

Refrigerator Pickles
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2-3 T. kosher salt
1 T. dried dill (or a bunch fresh)
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Pickling vegetables (I used the traditional cucumbers, but possibilities are endless)

Heat vinegar and water in a medium saucepan. When it comes to a boil, add salt and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add dill, pepper, and peppercorns to liquid. Pour liquid into two jars already filled with sliced vegetables and one clove crushed garlic each. Add vinegar as needed to top off jars (I had plenty of liquid). Let cool to room temperature; refrigerate. Apparently, these should last about a month. I doubt they'll be around that long.

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