March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
There is so much to say, right? And so little. I feel that I have forgotten how to write: it’s been that long since I’ve written with any form of seriousness. Currently, I am 39% (says Kindle) through with Gabrielle Hamilton’s celebrated memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter. She writes of her dislike of ornamentation for the sake of it in prose, and it really got me thinking about my own writing. I thought of a conversation I had had with my father years back when he told me that I should stop being so flowery with my writing. He was absolutely right. Gabrielle Hamilton is incisive with her words, and there is no “tiredness” in her prose. Read this book, I think. It’s a brave book.
I pickled jalapeños a week ago! I followed David Lebovitz’s recipe with ever-so-slight modifications, which in turn was adapted from Michael Symon’s Live to Cook by Michael Symon and Michael Ruhlman. (Ruhlman has written about the process here.) It is simple to make, and the whole process is strangely therapeutic. I love how every act is almost measured; pickling is meditative.
1 pound (450 g) jalapeños
2.5 cups (625 ml) water
2.5 cups (625 ml) vinegar (I used 500 ml white vinegar and 125 ml sugarcane vinegar; Ruhlman uses sherry vinegar, and David, white distilled vinegar)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons salt
Note: You can use whole jalapenos or sliced ones. I made 4 small bottles of pickle, one with whole peppers and the others sliced in varying thickness. Do pierce each whole pepper with a fork or a knife a few times.
Fill your preserving jar (or many jars) with the jalapeños.
Bring to a boil the rest of the ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes.
Allow to cool just a tad, and pour this liquid over the jalapeños.
Let it cool, and then refrigerate it. I, of course, ate a couple then and there, but I strongly recommend that you allow the flavours to mature over a week or two.