Pickled radish.

I thought it fitting my fingertips started to burn after tonight’s quick pickle of goat horn peppers as my hand used the mouse. I love the quick pickle. I love vinegar so much I started dipping my crusty bread in mostly balsamic, little bit of olive oil.  I soaked these pink pickled  beauties to go with our steak dinner. When I do a steak dinner, I do a steak dinner. I love lots of sides. sautéed mushrooms, onion, peppers, and a potato of course. But this post is not about the steak or the potato. Or the mushroom, or those pickled pink sweets above. It’s about a carrot. More precisely these carrots.

Carrots glazed with balsamic and butter.

This is how I assume vegetarian and vegans survive without having a breakdown from lack of things that taste good. They are officially one of my top 3 carrots. Tell me your wheat berries are like bacon, and I will have to politely think you have been brainwashed by the veggie man. Yeah there’s a man.

When I first moved to Seattle I kind of fell into an eating lifestyle that included not so much meat. Yeah it was healthy, but was it fun? No. It was hummus, and lots of burritos. Expensive burritos. It is much easier to eat healthy living in a city. All fun aside, I love non-meat food, even soy milk. I just can’t have a monogamous relationship with it. You understand.

Growing up we had not a one vegetarian restaurant. We didn’t have organic anything. Until the regional grocery chain Wegmans came to town, most people thought tofu was for hippies and people who lived in California. My one vegetarian friend was stuck eating mostly cheese and salads. After a decade we do have a Thai restaurant. I said a, but are a long way from a vegan breakfast spot. A vegan cafe did open in the neighboring town of Scranton. It’s called Eden. So if you find yourself in the Wyoming Valley, which I find happens strangely often, you probably will want a million other things to eat before you go to this place. Unless you are with a veg/veg, then take them here.

Thankfully I wised up and started eating meat like a regular person, and have never looked back. I have never eaten it for three meals a day, but I find if I just eat what I am hungry for, I keep a pretty balanced diet. When I want fast food I eat it, which ends up being a couple of times a month. I remember reading most Americans eat only 10 different foods in their diet. 10! I eat 10 different foods daily. No one likes the word restriction. Just say no! Now here is some beef.

Quick Pickle

My pickle changes with the wind, but here is a great recipe to start with. Then take that brine and run with it.

Michael Symon’s Pickled Chillis

Choose a colorful variety of chillis, fresno, jalapeno, banana, tomato, serrano—the thick fleshed peppers work best.  The method is very simple, simply fill a jar with peppers, bring the pickling liquid to a simmer and pour it hot over the peppers.  You can use them once they’re cooled but they’re best after they’ve been sitting in the pickle for a few weeks.  They’ll keep for a long time–how long, I don’t know because I always use them up for I can find out.

Pickling Liquid

sherry vinegar

sugar

salt

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

4 sprigs of marjoram

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

1 to 2  pounds chillis (or enough to fill whatever vessel you’re using)

Place chillis in a jar and cover them with water. Pour off the water into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half the water and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every three cups of liquid.

Combine your liquid and remaining spices in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then let cool slightly. Pour the pickling liquid over the peppers, screw the lid on and refrigerate. To use, slice into rings, chop or mince depending how you want to use them.

* I used a little bit of fresh ginger, salt, sugar, and rice wine vinegar for the radishes. I think this is a swell recipe to start my one woman journey on getting the word simple to no longer be the only word to describe food that doesn’t take hours or loads of ingredients. I am toying with master/mastered. Recipes and techniques everyone can and should learn on the road to becoming an accomplished handyman of food.

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” Paul Cezanne

Carrots Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar and Butter

Bon Appetit  December 2000

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Cover and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar. Cook uncovered until carrots are tender and glazed, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chives and toss to blend. Transfer to bowl and serve.
    For a different kind of pickle fun, check out this game:

    http://www.pickleball.com/

    Is it wrong that I think this looks like tons of fun?

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