I’ve been on a pickling kick this summer and in fact, I’ve pickled more food this year than ever. It started with these preserved lemons and moved on to sweet pickles, sour pickles, blackberries and I even have a jar of brandied cherries tucked away; jams and jellies are also stacked in the pantry and I may even try my hand at a bit of sauerkraut this fall.
I’ve read that eating fermented foods is good for overall gut health – and while that is a certainly a terrific benefit, I find that I rather enjoy the simple process of gathering fresh-from-the-market fruits and vegetables, scrubbing them clean and mixing water, vinegar, salt, spices and sometimes a bit of sugar, filling a jar and sealing it . . . then we wait. Sometimes it’s only waiting 24-48 hours before your ‘something pickled’ is ready to eat, sometimes it takes 3 days and sometimes it’s 10 days. But the reward is worth it; and besides, there are plenty of other things you can do while you’re waiting . . .
Bake a gluten-free fresh fig cake.
Discover poorly named foods in your grocery store (no offense to our friends across the pond, but seriously?? – and please forgive the blurry photo – I was snickering like a junior-high school girl).
Take a hike and whenever possible, take the stairs.
Paint a bathroom . . . or in The Professor’s case, your head.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the porch with the love of your life.
This just a short list of activities you can do to take your mind off whatever is ‘pickling’ on your counter or in the refrigerator – but feel free to add your own (she says with tongue planted firmly into cheek) . . .
These pickled carrots and jalapenos are from Shauna and Danny’s new book, Gluten-Free Girl Everyday – a really lovely book (and quite possibly my favorite of their’s so far) with easy, approachable, gluten-free recipes – some familiar, some maybe not-so-familiar but all are delicious: Shells with Fresh Ricotta, Chives and Arugula; Moroccan Lamb Burgers, Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts and both The Professor and I can vouch for the Biscuits and Gravy as well as the Savory Waffles with Salmon – terrific! Shauna says these Pickled Carrots and Jalapenos are a great addition to a Carnita Taco Bar or sandwiched into a cheese quesadilla. I pack a few into The Professor’s lunch for an afternoon snack.
All of the recipes are gluten-free, many are dairy-free and vegetarian as well. Want to know how to stock a gluten-free pantry? Check. Need to find online resources? Check. Want to hone your gluten-free baking skills? Check. Want suggestions for switching things up with a recipe? Check. At the heart of the book is this quote in the introduction, ‘A good meal can change someone’s day. cooking is the most deeply creative act with the most practical application . .. in the end, cooking is about the eating.’ As someone who cooks every day, I couldn’t agree more.
Shauna and Danny are personal friends and we were fortunate to have had an opportunity to produce the book trailer for Gluten-Free Girl Everyday; Vashon is an idyllic setting, the Seattle weather was absolutely glorious and getting to share part of our summer on the Island was an incredible privilege.
Full disclosure: I was sent a copy of Gluten-Free Girl Everyday at no cost to me; however, all opinions expressed are always my own.
PICKLED CARROTS AND JALAPENOS
Slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Girl Everyday
Makes 1 Quart
- 3 Tablespoons pickling spice (I used Pennzy’s)
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal, about ½-inch thick
- 2 jalapeno peppers, cut into thin discs and seeded
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Layer carrots, jalapeno discs, garlic and spices in a clean quart jar stopping about 1-inch from the rim of the jar
- Add vinegar, water and salt to a medium sauce pan and heat to boiling and salt is dissolved
- Pour boiling liquid over vegetables, covering vegetables and leaving a 1-inch gap at the top of the jar; discard any remaining liquid and seal jar; allow to come to room temperature on the counter and then refrigerate
- Refrigerate for at least 3 days; will keep refrigerated up to one month