It’s About that Time…Pickled Carrots and Radishes…
Readers, I apologize for the lapse in posting. I can’t believe its been almost three weeks since we told you all about the insane amount of tomatoes we have been slogging through here in Nashville. I can tell you that the tomatoes are still rolling into the kitchen (occasionally hopping off the counter and trying to flee back from whence they came.) But luckily for us the season has started to change – and thank heavens, the tomato crop is finally slowing. Our cherry tomato (monster) plant has gone from producing overflowing pints each week, to putting forth a mere handful of mildly acidic cherries, which we are able to dispatch with easily. Yes indeed, the summer season is coming to an end, and as that door closes a window opens into the world of fall vegetables to include the beautiful little carrots and breakfast radishes pictured below.
There are many reasons to love fall, the heat and exhausting pace of summer start to abate, the cool crisp air is so inviting, welcoming a slew of leisurely outdoor activities. For many people, fall is a time to slow down, to savor the gentle season and to rejoice in the fruit of past seasons labors. For me Fall is full of many good memories. It was the beginning of a cool crisp September when Dustin and I first met, and began to delve into each others worlds, discussing likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. In fact, as of this week it was exactly five years ago that Dustin and I began this journey together. And oh what a journey it has been.
After five years it is amazing how much, and yet how little has changed. I am proud to say we still spend, what many would classify as “way too much time together.” And yet it suits us just fine. To me, (and hopefully to Dustin as well) it’s nice to have someone around that shares so many of my oddball interests. Not many people share our same zeal for old blues music, get excited about countertop fermentation, never tire of tv crime drama, enjoy discussing the on goings of the little friends we have milling about in our compost pile and get really excited about watching Chris Sharma Climbing DVDs. Yep, I’m pretty sure I’ve met my match.
Speaking of shared interests, boy oh boy have we had some culinary adventures in our years together. Some endeavors were admittedly more successful than others. Luckily we have experienced more “hits” in the kitchen than we have had misses. And the good times (and “interesting” times) just keep on rolling. As we have begun to shape our own identities and our life as a couple, we have also developed a cooking “personality” of sorts which weaves in each of our likes and dislikes. Approaching each others quirky affinities with open minds has allowed us to explore and learn to love foods we had never really explored. And then there are the dishes, like these pickles, that were totally foreign to us both, but like with some many things we embraced them and just enjoyed the ride.
1/2 Pound Carrots, Cut Into Thin Coins
1/2 Pound Radishes, Cut Into Thin Coins
1 C Water
1/2 C Sugar
2 TBSP Salt
2 Star Anise
2 TBSP Minced Ginger
1 C White Wine Vinegar
Fill a canner with water, set aside lids, and screw bands and boil 3 pint jars to sterilize.
Lay out a clean cutting board and cover with a clean dish towel.
In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.
Add the carrot and radish to the pickling liquid. Allow the veggies to cook for one minute before removing from the heat.
Remove the jars from the water and place them on the prepared (towel covered) cutting board.
Place a star anise pod in each hot jar. Using a funnel, pack vegetables into hot jars leaving staying under 1/2 inch from the top. Ladle hot pickling liquid to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
Using a paper towel, wipe the rims clean and apply lids and rings.
Place jars in the canner, ensuring they are completely submerged. Bring to a boil and process covered for 10 minutes. Remove the lid leaving the jars in the water for 5 minutes before removing jars. Leave the jars in a cool place (not cold) and don’t touch! 24 hours later remove the bands and check the seals. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.