Homemaking

Aug 17 2006

And I still can’t get rid of a nagging cough left over from the Hungarian Death Plague. How long can it take? Guess I shouldn’t be complaining, though; I could have serious complications and be unable to breathe for the rest of my life. There’s always that.

Anyway. A good day. Dropped off some old things at Goodwill, so there are no more piles of clothes laying around my bedroom. (They’re under the bed now.) Picked up some Southern Comfort bourbon whiskey at the nearby ABC store (more on that later). Stopped by Target and picked up miscellaneous useful things, including two desk lamps which now sit on my desk and will keep my face nice and bright for my webcam.

After a long but satisfying day at work, I came home exhausted. So I used the bourbon to make myself what I bought it for: my first mint julep. Following half-remembered, Alton Brown directions, I ground ten mint leaves (from the garden) with sugar in the bottom of a glass until it formed a sort of green paste, then added ice, spritzed in some seltzer water, added the bourbon, and topped it off with a bit more seltzer water.

It was strong and delicious. A little less Southern Comfort next time, I think, and it’ll taste perfect. There were also bits of leaf floating in the drink; I think I need to grind it down more. Still, a success.

That gave me some pep, so I watered and weeded the garden a bit, microwaved some homemade pizza, and checked e-mails and blogs. I even perked up enough to make my own pickles. Another Alton Brown recipe, this was…well, like most cooking. Easier than I’d feared, but requires some practice to do perfectly. Haven’t tasted the pickles yet, and I’m looking forward to it.

So. Um. Very exciting day. In any event, here’s the recipe. I plan to increase it by 50% next time, as I didn’t have enough liquid to fill both jars.

HARDWARE:

Large pan

Two pickle jars, cleaned

Knife

Cutting board

SOFTWARE:

Two cucumbers

1/2 small onion

1 cup water

1 cup cider vinegar

1.5 cups sugar

Pinch kosher salt

1/2 teaspooon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspooon turmeric

1/2 teaspooon celery seeds

1/2 teaspooon pickling spice

Combine all ingredients except cucumber and onion in the pan and turn it up to medium, stirring occasionally. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium-low (3 out of 10) and simmer for four minutes.

Meanwhile, slice each cucumber in half, then quarter each half lengthwise, and put in a jar (one jar should hold one cucumber). Slice the onion thinly and divide between the jars.

When the juice has simmered, pour it into the jars. Let jars cool to room temperature, top them off, lid and refrigerate. Note: juice is sticky and pans often pour badly; I’m going to use a turkey baster to transfer the liquid next time.

Comments:

Mandy Regarding pcikles: http://www.threadless.com/product/491/Pickles_are_just_cucumbers_soaked_in_evil
Brennen That is a fairly wonderful t-shirt.
Brent Heh. I like it. If I wore anything other than black shirts, I’d be tempted to buy one.

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