Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, July 30, 2010

In a Two-Way Pickle

I have loved going to the library this summer and so have a lot of other folks. It is always busy when I am there, actually beyond busy...packed. Exciting! What does have me in somewhat of a pickle though, is that almost every book I want to check out has gone AWOL, some since May. The librarian at the front desk said that often happens in summer and most likely, those books are permanently gone. And so, this leaves me in the "to buy" or "not to buy" quandary. Indecision.

While waiting to make up my mind and given its current state, I think I will actually make some pickles. I used to do that a lot. Last summer I made gorgeous red onion pickles, gingered carrots, pickled apple chutney and several other sweet and briny goodies that I ladled over terrific veggie dogs. Yum.

Here is the quick and simple recipe I use for refrigerator pickles...especially nice for impulsive decisions like this one. I have everything I need already. Just gotta finish this post and bottle them up. Feel free to adjust the sugar. These pickles are a cross between a tangy dill and sweeter bread and butter. Perfect for my indecisive state of mind!

Impulsive Refrigerator Pickles

1 pound medium cucumbers (I only had 2 medium and filled in with the mini seedless cukes to equal 1 pound)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
3 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
sprigs of fresh dill weed
2/3 cup sugar*
6 tablespoons and 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons and 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3/4 cup filtered water

Wash cucumbers and cut into spears and pack into a large glass jar. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic and dill weed. Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers. Add lid and shake well. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. They will keep fresh for about 3 months.

*I use dark brown sugar because that is what I have on hand sugar-wise. The brine and the pickles will be a little brownish!! If that is not your fancy, take your pick between white and light brown.

****And in case you are in a "second" pickle over the news on heart risks from calcium supplements, here are some plant-based, calcium-rich goodies I munch on, guaranteed to be heart and bone healthy: kale, figs, all kinds of beans, organic tofu (in limited amounts), collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, okra, almonds, sesame seeds and of course, seed-rich Natural State Granola. There are many calcium-rich recipes on this blog, including Monday's Regal Fig Salad with Riccota Salata, my fave, The Queen of Green Salad. and Soothing Miso Soup. And so, no worries. Just "eat smart".

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