Are there words out there you just like to say? Maybe they twirl off your tongue like with one of those cool rolling “R” sounds. (I can’t roll and sound like an idiot when I try.) Or maybe it is a word that sounds like another word such as peanuts. (Wanna have some fun? Talk to my mother in law!)
One of my favorite words is pickle. First, it is a great rhyming word. Think about it… tickle, nickel, fickle, trickle, Kristi McNichol. (I wish she were still on TV. I really liked her.)
It is also great in alliterative tongue twisters! Hours of winter time entertainment right here at your fingertips!
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?”
And undoubtedly you can look at the word pickle and think “Wow! Pickle is a noun AND a verb.” Growing up with the last name of “Felt”, I felt life was cooler because my last name was a noun and a verb. Added bonus was that I could make an entire sentence with two words….Barbara Felt felt felt. (It was this kind of banter that made me the weird kid.)
Enough about me….let’s get back to the word pickle. So you obviously know that a pickle (noun) is something that has been preserved in a brine or vinegar solution. (You do know that right? )
But what seems to perplex a lot of people is how to pickle (verb) something. When doing food preservation, there are ton of safety things to consider IF you are planning on storing your pickles on a shelf in your basement or cupboard. (I like that word too.)
You have to have the chemistry of your brining liquid just perfect or you may make people ill. (This is why you take a class and read a lot on the subject before preserving anything. Unless murder is your motive but killing people is frowned upon.)
There are also plenty of ways to preserve veggies but I am going to talk about the simplest thing you can do….the quick pickle. (Which is also something my husband requests every now and then when I have a headache but that is NOT one of my favorite pickles!)
A quick pickle or refrigerator pickle is a process where you make a brine or vinegar solution, add your veggie and pop it in the fridge. After an hour or so, you have a perfect, pickled product to pop on your plate. (Ooooo, that was fun to say.)
Onions are my favorite things to pickle lately because they are so versatile. I like pickled onions on salads, blanched green beans, tacos, nachos, gyros, sandwiches, stews, chilis…the list can go on and on.
They add a powerful sour/sweet bite to whatever you are eating. The best part is that they are EASY!!!!! It is one of those recipes that won’t leave you in a pickle!
Perfectly Packed Pickled Onions
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp pickling salt (or Kosher)
1/2 cup – 1 cup warm water (I like it TART so I don’t use a lot of water. I started using water to just help dissolve the sugar and salt)
In a quart mason jar (you know the ones that are so trendy now and can be found in any housewares department or mother in law pantry), add the warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Add a top (I like the plastic screw on tops) and shake!!!! This does count as exercise so make it count!)
Shake until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add onions so the liquid covers them all. (You may have a few slices that don’t fit. That is okay, wrap them up and use them for something else. Or I just saved them and popped them in the jar AFTER I used up my first batch of pickles.)
Give the jar a shake and place in the fridge for an hour.
Voila! You’ve got pickled onions!!!!! Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out. I believe they should be good for at least 10 days but I guarantee they won’t last that long.
The nice thing about a refrigerator pickle in the winter is that it adds a brightness to your food on a gloomy day. I have yet to try a lot of other recipes for refrigerator or icebox pickles BUT given the looks of our weather lately, I will have plenty of time to play around in my kitchen. (I also like the word kitchen but it doesn’t rhyme with much.)