Monday, April 6, 2015

Springtime Pickling

So what do you do when on Monday it's 75 degrees and sunny, a perfect spring day, light breeze included, and then on Tuesday it's 54 degrees, blustery and rainy?

You pickle some radishes, of course.

Radish Jar

You like your radishes in a quick pickle because you are impatient, but you want a pickle that will only get better with time. So you throw together the following in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring very now and then: 3/4 c. water, 3/4 c. white vinegar (cider vinegar works, too, or white wine if you drink tea with your pinky extended), 2 tablespoons maple syrup (honey works also), 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or chop a jalapeno - even better), and 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds. Sometimes you get crazy and sprinkle in some black peppercorns, or some whole garlic cloves. Maybe even fennel, if have lots of people who like that sort of thing, or some thinly sliced sweet Vidalia onion. #Trust

Then you haul out your mandolin, the one you have had for years, the one you bought with a  gift card that your friend Mandy gave to you but have never used until two days ago, and now you use it like it's going out of style.

You take your excess of radishes that you bought in a fit of thinking The Teenager might actually like radishes, and you slice them into beautiful, mildly speckled rounds that you then pack into a wide-mouthed Mason jar.


Maybe you slice off a little bit of your thumb, but that doesn't make it into the jar.

You are a pro, and you know that if you want radishes that keep their crunch, you will slice them a little thicker.

Your brine is ready, and you pour it, hot and steamy, over the radishes.


Whatever you do, you don't inhale the steam because these are SPICY pickled radishes, and if steam does get into your lungs you will feel it all the way down to the bottom of your spine.

Then you wait for an hour or two. If you can.

Which you can't.

You eat one just after they cool and find that this brine goes from a tart pinch in the cheeks to a spreading warmth and a final touch of mild sweetness. The radishes are still crunchy, and you get  a hint of the mustard seed at the end.

You start planning for fish tacos, or maybe a burger, or maybe you check the weather and hope it rains for the next couple days so you can waste time on the couch with radishes and a beer.

What do you do when it rains in the spring?


No comments:

Post a Comment