Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pickled Grapes

Finally! This has been an ongoing battle for over a dozen years, which heretofore I have been losing. Every year I see these tiny lovely champagne table grapes dangling way above the rooftop, maybe 20 feet beyond the trellis, taunting me from their lofty vine supports. Then the birds get them all. I've taste a few, but they're impossible to pick. But not after an ample dose of gin and a little pluck. Somehow I scrambled up and just picked them. Maybe 5 pounds, on one vine, which isn't so bad. Scratched a bit. I ate a lot.

But how can I possibly resist messing with them now? So these are pickled. NOT in vinegar, nor a quick refrigerator marinade. They are in brine. I know this exists out there in the world, though I was very hard pressed to find out anything about it. So I am winging it, as usual. Just lovely sweet little grapes in brine. We wait and see what happens. I am VERY excited.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bull Whip Kelp Pickles

I was cavorting in a kayak yesterday in the Monterey Bay and happened to drift into raft of kindly otters, one of whom was generous enough to offer me a 7 foot length of bullwhip kelp. I thanked him profusely, complimented him on his finely kempt coat and promised I would put the estimable sea vegetable to the best possible use. I have eaten exquisite pickled kelp before, but I admit, I have never made it. I have serious doubts that it could be fermented, so I made a sweet vinegar pickle, much like the one I tasted years ago. Soaked a bit then sliced in rounds and spears. They are rather fetching. I will let you know how they fare after a week or two, but I suspect a little salty, a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy and a whole lot of fishy sea krauty crunch. Can there possibly be a superior confluence of flavors to tickle the taste buds?