Category Archives: Blogs

Two Easy Pickle Recipes

My previous post on pickling went on a bit, so I’ve added these two simple recipes as a separate one. The methods are not particularly comprehensive, so if you haven’t pickled before read the previous post for hints and tips.

Pickled Red Cabbage

As with many recipes for preserving, it’s difficult to come up with precise amounts. It all depends upon how much produce you have and the size and shape of your jars . A certain amount of guesswork is required. If you don’t make enough pickling liquor, you can quickly make more, and if you make too much, keep it in a sterilised jar; you can always use it pickle something else, or use it in salad dressings.

It is a good example of a system rather than of a recipe, but I reckon a good-sized red cabbage will need a litre of liquor. Oh and it’s a two-day affair, so don’t start this the day before a fortnight’s holiday or something:

 

Day 1:

1 red cabbage, sliced thinly, centre removed

Sea or rock salt

Scatter your sliced cabbage into a colander placed on a deep plate or large bowl and strew with plenty of salt. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight for the water to drain.

 

Day 2:

1 litre of cider, wine or distilled vinegar

1 tsp peppercorns

1 chilli

1 tsp Allspice berries

50 g sugar

1 star anise

1 tsp Mustard seeds

Boil the vinegar with the spices and sugar, simmering for 5 minutes. Rinse the salt from the cabbage and pack into sterilised jars. Strain the hot vinegar and fill the jars with the piping hot liquor. Pop the chilli and star anise into the jars and a few of the seeds and berries (for prettiness). Put on lids and leave to mature for four weeks.

  1. Cover cabbage with salt for 24 hours.
  2. Next day, rinse away the salt and pack into sterilised jars.
  3. Boil up the remaining ingredients. Simmer 5 minutes and pour over the cabbage.

 

Delia Smith’s Quick Pickled Onions

from her Complete Cookery Course, 1982

“I’m afraid I have neither the strength nor the patience of endure long pickling sessions…so I always use the method below” says Delia.

No faffing about with this one: onions usually need brining or dry-salting. Delia skips this stage, but be warned: they don’t keep as long as regular pickled onions as the excess water isn’t drawn out by the salting process. They’ll keep 4 months maximum.

In her recipe, Delia asks for pickling spice, which you can buy already blended, but have a go at making your own; a keen cook will probably have most of the spices needed anyway! See the previous post for an example.

2 kg pickling onions [or shallots]

1.75 l of malt vinegar (Sarson’s is best)

25 g pickling spice

The first task is to peel the onions. Put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water straight from the kettle, drain and get peeling. The skins should now be relatively loose from their hot water treatment.

Half-fill your jars with onions – 4 1-litre jars will be enough – and share out half of the pickling spices between them, scattering nicely. Top up with the remainder of the onions, and then the rest of the spices. Pour the vinegar in (no need to heat it) and screw the lids on tightly. Leave the onions 8 weeks before eating them.

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‘British Food: A History’ gets a Liebster!

I’ve only gone and been given a Liebster Award!

Many, many thanks to Sharon and Vinny Grette  at Cook up a Story for giving me it. I am extremely flattered and pleased that someone out there not only reads my wafflings but also thinks them actually quite good.

If you are unaware of what the Liebster Award is (as I was until yesterday), it is simply a way for bloggers to show off the talent of other bloggers, especially those with new blogs. The idea is to nominate five blogs and pass it on to them so The origin is not known for sure, but it believed to come from Germany.

So thanks again to Sharon and Vinny Grette – they themselves hugely entertaining bloggers and food writers; they definitely deserved a Liebster and no mistake.

Now that I have been handed the baton, I need to list five blogs that I think worthy of the award in no particular order, I wouldn’t be so cheeky to nominate my other blog though:

First up is Eatvolution, a newly-hatched blog that manages to combine food with science. Being a scientist myself in my day job, I really appreciate that it isn’t just the obvious food science or molecular gastronomy stuff that is doled out though, oh no, all branches are covered here. Like any good scientist, they’ve even the references at the end of each post.

Come Step Back in Time is a history blog that is both well-written and detailed but without the waffle and boredom! Posts on here have given me inspiration for my own blog articles, which is just how the blogosphere should work I reckon.

I have been following the food blog Scallionrap for a while now and love the range of subjects and styles of writing in there; from the long and detailed posts to the whimsically brief. Whether displaying brevity or meticulousness, each post is well crafted and entertaining to read.

I originally came across Austinonly when Googling a blog entry a few months ago and I remember thinking that this one is far too specific. After a little reading I realised how wrong I was. Austinonly manages to show a rich and complex part of our not-too-distant history that is such a world away from modern life.

Last up (but by no means least) is Granny Robertson’s Cookbook a food-history blog that essentially does the same job as my own. Happily we don’t seem to tread on one another’s toes, even when we write on the same subject matter. The reason for this I think is that we have very different styles, but aim to be both fun and accurate at the same time; a trick not so easy to pull off.

So they are the five I have chosen ad I hope you check them all out follow their writings…

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Filed under Blogs, Liebster Award, Uncategorized