Saturday, February 19, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

It’s been another sweltering day in my city and I could barely crank up the energy to go to the little art exhibit in the park down the street, much as I wanted to. And although I’d really really like to cook something fabulous, that is proving to be a bit of a challenge in this heat.

I admit, this may not be the best time to make a slow-cooked bolognese from scratch (though I did try that last week because I sometimes fancy myself a rebel), but it is a good time to do any or all of the following:
  • Reconnect with your organic farmer – the produce is looking lovely these days and if you have a chance to get them direct from the source I highly recommend it. I find that the flavor of organic vegetables is always so much more vibrant than their dull supermarket cousins. Of course, it goes without saying that avoiding icky chemicals in our food is my main motivation, especially for the little one. It’s better for our planet too. And I like supporting small farmers…they rock and I want them to stick around! This salad was made with my organic farmer's talbos kamote (sweet potato leaves), tomatoes, and young native onions.
  • Make refrigerator pickles – I have posted about my love for pickling before. This isn't the type of pickling that requires cooking, boiling, sterilizing, or any method that involves heat. This isn't about staying in the kitchen for hours going through a mountain of raw materials...just as small (or medium-ish) a ration of veggies as you'd like. Make a mixture of vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and any sort of spice, herb, or aromatic (go with whatever strikes your fancy!) and place in a clean jar with your vegetables (make sure the veggies are all covered in your pickling liquid). Keep the jar in the fridge and you will always have something cool, crunchy, and tangy to have with your meals when the days turn sweltering. The one pictured here was made with cucumbers, green finger chilis, and native onions also from our organic farmer :)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff – When even the tiniest movements seem to make beads of sweat form, you don’t need any extra provocation. Heat saps your energy – now is not the time to be worrying about the fluctuation in your internet or your housekeeper leaving. Save that blog post on Word and cozy up with an amazing Sci-fi novel. Call out for pizza. Press pause and be thankful for the things that really count.

I never did make it to the art fair, but I did get to sit and laugh in my scruffies with a very good friend and a very special little girl :) Not a bad showing for an otherwise lazy day. Plus I’ve got some cucumber pickles chilling in the fridge…what more could a girl want? :)

Update: More about refrigerator pickles over at The Kitchen!


WizzyTheStick said...

In my country we call this chow and it as always the thing to have on hand. Delicious.

betty q. said...

I was just thinking about you the other day Joey, after reading your post on Kamote tops salad...and while eating my iceberg lettuce drizzled with my Apple Sesame dressing in the height of winter here. Try this dressing, Joey, and you will find yourself eating iceberg lettuce even if it isn't your favorite lettuce! I will e-mail it to you for I do not want to hog the space. Oh, here is another trick I use when I make refrigerator pickles as well...add a few splashes or squirts of Kikkoman toyo...umami-ish!

Anh said...

wise words, Joey!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Wizzy! It's great to always have a jar of something like this waiting in the fridge :)

Hi Betty q! I got the recipe...thanks so much for sharing it! It sounds delicious and right up our alley! I'll be trying so Kikkoman with our next batch of refrigerator pickles...I can imagine the umami :)

Hi Anh! It's the truth! :)

Michelle @ My Life on the B-List said...

Amen! :) Lazy sundays are for snuggling, ordering out, and not blogging... (couldn't help but write one teeny tiny post though haha). And yes it's been really hot for the past few days. And it's not even summer yet. :(

Miri Leigh said...

Thanks for the post! These pickles look like they'd make a great snack to come home to or a tasty side dish with any lunch!

veron said...

I'd love to keep a jar of this in the fridge too. Need to start pickling. ugh...don't envy you the manila heat, am so glad to be back in virginia after the heat in manila...miss the food though. :)

Midge said...

And cucumber pickles go soooo well with roasted meats - even store-bought ones!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Michelle! So true! :) The art of doing nothing…a lost art and underappreciated!

Hi Miri! They do make a nice side dish…but I must warn you, they make me eat more than I plan!

Hi Veron! The heat is definitely on over here! All the more reason for these cool, crunchy things :)

Hi Midge! Yes! And grilled meats too :)

Sammie said...

Yummy! I've never tried to make pickles before. Thanks for posting!

anonymous paul said...

Seeing all these mangoes now I've been thinking of pickling as well, what a coincidence! Pickled green mangoes...noice.

alyce said...

Refridgerator pickes are so easy and a great way to add flavor to a dish! I am new to your blog and really like the design. Will return.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sammie! Refrigerator pickles are the easiest type to make…usually made in small batches, no sterilizations involved, kept in the fridge, and consumed fairly quickly. It’s a great way to introduce oneself to pickling :)

Hi Anonymous Paul! I’ve been seeing a lot of the small green mangoes too…these are awesome pickled!

Hi Alyce! Glad you enjoyed the post :)