I have my Dad to thank for my love for sardines, good beer…and pickles. I was a pickle fiend as a child. I loved them so much that my godfather gave me a huge jar of pickles every year for Christmas, and I preferred it to any toy, game, or the yearly box of underwear from Grandma that I received.
Dad didn’t just buy me pickles. He showed me how to plant cucumbers and help them grow. He taught me which ones were the best for pickling. Together we sliced cucumbers, picked dill, and tried new recipes to make pickles together every summer.
Since my dad’s birthday is tomorrow and he is the man who wants for little, I decided to make him a homemade food basket this year. On the docket first: Quick Pickled Refrigerator Vegetables. One reader (Hi Cayla!) had requested a recipe awhile back, and I found one that I adapted to suit my own needs.
The veggies (to make 2 quart jars full):
1 cucumber, three carrots, a pile of green beans, two jalapenos, and a 1/4 head of cauliflower florets.
- 3 cups distilled white vinegar
- 3 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tsp sugar
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp fennel
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 4 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 bay leaves
- red pepper flakes
- 16 dill sprigs
In 2 quart jars with lids, toss in 2 bay leaves, 3 cloves of garlic (I halved the large ones and kept the small ones whole), 1 tbsp fennel, 1 tbsp cumin seed, 2 tsp peppercorns, pinch of red pepper flakes, 8 dill sprigs, veggies and one jalapeno per jar.
In a bowl, mix the vinegar, salt and sugar together. Top each jar with half of the vinegar mix and fill the remaining area with water to the top. Shake slightly, place the lid on, and refrigerate! These will be ready in a bout a week and should keep up to 3 months.
Inspired by: Pickled Vegetables at thedabble.com
Only time will tell how these buggers taste, so I’ll be sure to let you know!
Next on my list: Spicy Rosemary Roasted Cashews. My dad loves to eat nuts, and if he’s in the mood for a quick dinner, sometimes he’ll just pull down a bag of shelled peanuts and eat them by the handful (after shelling, of course). He likes spicy things, so this recipe seemed to be a good fit.
- 1 1/4 lbs cashews
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread out cashews on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt, and butter.
Toss the warm nuts with the rosemary mixture until they are completely coated.
This made about 2 pints worth of delicious nuts (minus the sampler handful). Delicious! Ina Garten has not let me down yet.
Since Dave is off today and has a few more hours before bed, we’re going to grill out on this gorgeous day. Later, I’ll make some chocolate banana bread….