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Must Pickle – Anything


Since I am not canning up a storm, it still doesn’t mean that I don’t have the canning itch. Without the produce, what is a farming wife to do? 

Can everything else! 

Have you ever pickled eggs? They are so tasty, and even the kids like to nibble on one with their dinner. I believe in eating local, but let’s face it, imagination is needed in order to keep your local diet interesting. That’s part of the reason I like to try pickling things. Eggs are really fun. They are different and pretty weird looking in the jar. Those are two things that make them a sure hit on our farm. Here is a post about pickling eggs from a year ago. I wrote it in the spring, so there is a mention of egg abundance. I certainly don’t have that issue lately. This recipe is for 1 dozen, so buy a farm fresh carton from your local farmers market and get started! : 

I love to  pickle things. Admittedly, my actual cucumber pickles are not so great, but I can make a mean pickled zucchini slice. The thing about pickles, is that they are just a food soaked in brine and spices. That is it.
As far as the pantry goes, pickling is the magic that takes a few simple foods, and adds a completely new component of flavor. Pickles fill in the salty/savory/spicy gap, that many of our meals seem to be missing. If you are budgeting and still trying to keep everything as homemade and healthy as possible, pickling is for you.

Today was Pickled Egg Tasting Day. My recipe can theoretically be eaten after 3 days, and I wanted to take a picture and blog about it. Tasting was just a part of the job.

The results? They were still too salty. It is the same as trying a pickled asparagus spear too soon. The salt has not moved into the food, and is still prevalent in the brine and on the outside of the food only. They were not bad tasting, just too salty. Back into the fridge they go, for another few days.

Pickling eggs also uses up some of the spring flush that my girls get into this time of year. I seems we go with 3 or 4 eggs a week to 30 or more a week, without warning! Suddenly, I am making a lot of omelets, French toast and Frittata. My kids cry fowl (sorry couldn’t resist), and the creativity kicks in. This recipe uses 12 eggs, so I can make three or 4 jars and clean out my overabundance pretty quickly.

For this recipe, place 12 eggs into enough cold water to just cover. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Let cook for 12 minutes. Strain and cool in cold water so you can peel them easily.

Peel eggs and place them in a quart canning jar. In a saucepan, combine the following:

2 c. vinegar
1 c. water
11/2  tsp. salt
1 Tbsp pickling spices (I made my own using cloves,mustard seed, dillseed, cinnamon sticks, celery seed and bay leaves)
Sliced onion 

Bring to a boil and then pour over the eggs. 

Cap and let cool on counter top. Then refrigerate for 3 days at least, before trying.


Wild Food: Walking Onions


Photo Flickr user kusine

A few years ago, friends of ours gave me a handful of Walking Onion bulbs. She had casually broken them off as we stood talking by my car. I threw them into the bucket of other goodies we had been gathering from her old farm. 

After transplanting my horseradish root onto my own place, at the bottom of the bucket were these little bulbs. There happened to be a nook where two of our fences met, that were out of the way of the mower (my husband is a champion of mowing down anything I plant), and if they lived, the location was perfect to let them spread around without bothering anything else. 

And grow they did! Now, I look forward to my onion bed, for one of the earliest wild foods on the farm. They come up just about the time that the dandelion greens get big enough to pick. Combine the two, and you have a heavenly side dish! See how that works? 

I wrote an article for Earth Eats, telling more about these little nuggets of onion power. 

Pickling Recipes and Tips for Egyptian Walking Onions

If you ever get the opportunity to plant some walking onions, find an out of the way place, and have at it!