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Posts Tagged ‘pickles’

Whoah, look at you.  You are WAY sophisticated.  Who pickles grapes?  YOU DO.

First mushrooms and now this.  I must say, you’re quite the enterprising misfits.

Impressing guests at your next kegger wine and cheese party can be as simple as popping open a jar of these babies.  No wine and cheese party?

You’re screwed!

Wait…I meant, No wine and cheese party?

No problem!  Simply turn off your phone, lock yourself in the pantry, and party down with your three best friends: cheese, a spoon, and your elastic jammy tutu pants.  Friendship has never been so simple.

Cinnamon Spice Pickled Grapes
Makes 6 half-pints

Go Get:
2 1/2 lbs. black, seedless grapes
3 cups dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Saigon Cassia Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Jamaican Allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
A few pinches salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Go Do:
Start with sterilized canning jars and lids and get a boiling water bath canner going. Now wash the grapes and pull them from their stems.

Stab each one with a fork.

What can I say?  Grapes just make me feel violent.

Now put all ingredients except the grapes in a pot and bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  When the sugar and salt are dissolved, stir in the grapes.

When the mixture returns to a boil, shut it off and use a slotted spoon to transfer the grapes into the jars.

Pour brine over them up to a half inch before the top.  Wipe the rims (may wanna dampen your cloth…sugar gets sticky and all), and apply the lids.  Screw on the rings just a wittle bit tight and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.   Line a cookie sheet with a towel and use a canning jar lifter to transfer the jars from the bath onto the cookie sheet.  Let them sit for a day, at which point you can check the seals.

Note: Jars didn’t seal?  Don’t feel like canning?  No problem–just move unsealed jars into the fridge, where they’ll last for several months.

Another Note: For a totally herbaceous variation, put a sprig of rosemary in each jar before adding the grapes.  You fancy minx, you!

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I know what you’re thinking–mushrooms can be neither fine nor sexy.  But oh.

Oh!

OH!

They can.  And they are.  In this recipe in particular.  Now, these are pretty boss straight out the jar or with a sandwich or on a hamburger, but your Bad Mama Genny likes to push the envelope.  Put a few in a martini and watch people gasp at your fearlessness in the face of fungi!  Better yet, offer a whole bottle as a gift alongside a bottle of nice gin or vodka. (Or perhaps some cheap vodka that you’ve turned into gin, using my instructions.  Or hell, you could just buy a bottle of gin named after me.)

Because nothing says “Happy Birthday” like good old-fashioned enabling.

Now, the other nice thing about this recipe is that you trim the mushrooms before pickling, so you end up with lots of little mushroom bits and bobs.  And what a coincidence, I LOVE little mushroom bits and bobs!

Aww, look at all those misfit mushroom pieces just waiting to make you feel like the lady you aren’t.

They’re perfect for frying up in pan drippings with a little wine for a burger topping.  Or throw them into a veggie burger mix.  How about soup?  A vegetable stir fry?  See, I just KNEW you’d come around to little mushroom bits and bobs!

(Psst, remember when we talked about growing your own mushrooms?  Oh, right, here.  And here.  And here.  And here, too.  Surely it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll pass those chilly winter nights without a homesteading project!  What’s that?…you’re planning on drinking?  Well, gosh…that’s a solid plan.  Carry on!)

Fine and Sexy Pickled Mushrooms
Makes 6 pints

Go Get:
5 1/2 lbs.small, white button mushrooms
1 head garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons pickling/canning salt
4 cups white wine vinegar
6 sprigs thyme
6 sprigs rosemary
3 teaspoons black peppercorns

Go Do:
Start with sterilized canning jars and lids and get a boiling water bath canner going.  Now divide the peppercorns, herb sprigs, bay leaves, and smashed garlic cloves evenly amongst the jars.

Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and trim the stems super short.  Save the trimmings for another use.

Slice large mushrooms in halves or quarters to maintain some kind of size uniformity.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, stir in the lemon juice, and add the mushrooms.  Cook until they’re tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Now.  Embrace the slotted spoon.  The slotted spoon is your friend.  Transfer the mushrooms from the pot to two tea towel-lined cookie sheets to drain.  Take care not to ignite your favorite new tea towel while doing this.

Not that I’d know.

Or anything.

Then divide the mushrooms evenly among the jars.

In a pot, combine the vinegar with 1 cup water and the salt, and bring it to a boil over high heat.  Cook until salt is dissolved, then use a canning funnel to pour the brine in each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top.  Wipe the jar rims, position the lids and rings, screw them on only a wittle bit tight, and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  Line a cookie sheet with a towel and use a canning jar lifter to transfer the jars from the bath onto the cookie sheet.  Let them sit by themselves (aww, poor mushrooms) for a day, at which point you can check the seals.

Note: Jars didn’t seal?  Don’t feel like canning?  No problem–just move unsealed jars into the fridge, where they’ll last for several months.

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