Pickling: Red Onions & Peppercorns

 

Pickling is possibly the easiest and fastest way to transform your foods. This method, in particular, for pickling red onions takes about 10 minutes (of work) for crunchy, acidic, and sweet onions that will last up to a month in the refrigerator.

The best part about pickling is that, unlike canning, you don’t need to sterilize your glass jar or worry tremendously about bacterial growth (as you’ll be storing these in the refrigerator). You also don’t need to worry so much about the science and mechanisms taking place behind the scenes, as you do with fermentation or baking. Because unlike those two things, you aren’t relying on a chemical reaction for the end product and you can shift the ratios to best satiate your palate.

Personally, I would suggest keeping a 2:1 vinegar to water ratio, but playing around with salt and sugar levels, adding in a habanero pepper, using szechuan peppercorns, …  is up to you!

 

 

Pickled Red Onions

Gather [materials]:

  • chef’s knife or mandoline
  • canning jar

Gather [ingredients]:

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar (optional: substitute with white vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • optional: 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

 

Instructions:

Prep the onions: Thinly slice onions according to personal preference. I prefer to cut the onion in half, length-wise, slicing through the root. Taking one half I, with a chef’s knife snip off the root and tunic ends. Then, slicing perpendicular to the root and tunic removal cuts, I slice from tunic to root. This creates even slices and allows for better control as I move through slicing. Control = even-sized slices = uniform pickling.

Pack onions into jar. The jar should be full, but not overwhelmed by the amount of onion.

For the brine: Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, water, and optional peppercorns to a small saucepan. Simmer gently, until all sugar and salt are dissolved.

Pour the saucepan brine into the jar and over the prepped onions. If using a canning jar, put on the lid and give the jar a quick shake to ensure all onions are covered. Unscrew lid and allow to cool, uncovered. Once cool, transfer to the refrigerator for long term storage.

For quick pickling, wait 45-60 minutes.

For more vigorous pickling, allow several days.

 

Pickled Red Onions

  • 2 red onions (medium)
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar ((optional: substitute with white vinegar))
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns ((optional))
  1. Prep the onions: Thinly slice onions according to personal preference.

  2. Pack onions into jar. The jar should be full, but not overwhelmed by the amount of onion.

  3. For the brine: Add apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, water, and optional peppercorns to a small saucepan. Simmer gently, until all sugar and salt are dissolved.

  4. Pour the saucepan brine into the jar and over the prepped onions. If using a canning jar, put on the lid and give the jar a quick shake to ensure all onions are covered. Unscrew lid and allow to cool, uncovered. Once cool, transfer to the refrigerator for long term storage.

For quick pickling, wait 45-60 minutes.

For more vigorous pickling, allow several days.

Store, refrigerated, for up to one month.

 

Checking In: Ready for Spring

 

For the past several weeks my Pinterest has become more and more of a solace to me. A place to ignore the dropping temperatures outside and focus on cultivating a very warm feeling inside. I’m filling my thoughts with woven totes, linen dresses, airy morning light, and menus planned around soon-to-be-in-season vegetables. Thoughts of long walks at sunset, cool blue-grey mornings, and coffee sipped on a balcony. Thoughts of peace, calm, and allowing current frustrations to give way to relaxation.

Personally, this self-manifested warmth has done more than help shake the winter blues, it’s giving me a clearer focus point. A vision, a goal to concentrate on as I look forward months ahead. A handful of months ago, I found myself continually, and thanklessly, helping others in an unsustainable way. In truth, it has been a huge growth experience for my patience and capacity for generosity. Introspectively, it’s raised the question of whether it’s my ego taking over or if certain things are something that I could be validly upset over.

My teacher often reminds me of jalandhara bandha, the web that rests over our hearts. In her words, “This is why we do our best to cultivate loving thoughts. They flow from your head down to your heart, getting caught in the web.” Over the past few weeks, I’ve used this mindset on a daily basis to attempt to set my ego aside and cultivate loving thoughts. I definitely don’t enjoy having negative or upsetting thoughts. They tend to burrow themselves deep in my anxiety, affecting my sleeping, my eating, and the way I move through the world. It’s a difficult line to walk between being true to yourself, speaking about the ways you were hurt, or staying silent to preserve an apparent peace. So which is the right path?

I don’t have the answer, but what I’ve found throughout my entire life is that cultivating loving thoughts does not harm. One of my biggest pieces of relationship advice (romantic or otherwise) is simply this: be generous with forgiveness. There’s nothing that can persist when love, generosity, and forgiveness work together. I’ve added in the glowy imagery of a fast-approaching spring and granted myself a little distance from what was causing me stress.

A step backward, and yet a leap forwards.

 

xx, M

 

make believe: a soft, spring welcome

 

While autumn and winter are my favorite seasons, lately I’m finding myself craving sping. I don’t know if this is because of the recent temperature drop or because winters in the northeast USA tend to last about five months, but I cannot get the thought of spring out of my mind. Just imagining the clear light creeping in on an early morning or the thought of warm wind instead of a cutting chill is giving me the stamina to continue through a few more weeks.

I’m filling my thoughts with woven totes, linen dresses, airy morning light, and menus planned around soon-to-be-in-season vegetables. Thoughts of long walks at sunset, cool blue-grey mornings, and coffee sipped on a balcony. Thoughts of peace, calm, and reawakening.

 

A few bits to help you shape a beautiful spring moment:

a sandal that’s perfect for long, sun drenched walks.

everything you could need for a weekend away packed into this eco-friendly duffle.

this recipe.

this blush to help you envision cheeks pinked with morning air.

a button-down for days that flucuate between chilly and warm.

this little light with a big scent.

A Very Fluffy Spring

It’s mid-April and yet spring weather still hasn’t quite come to DC. With temps still regularly dipping below 40 I’m taking every opportunity to break out some of my more eclectic, cool weather wear. One of my all-time very pieces is this Bebe white, fur coat. I remember picking up this coat several seasons ago, in a thrift shop on 14th St, and being amazed I could find the very jacket I had ogled over a few months prior. It’s the perfect piece for a cool spring day, when you still want some of the textures of winter, without the weight.

 

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Coat : BEBE | Fur Coat *white

Pants : EVERLANE | Mid-Rise Skinny Jean (Ankle) *black

Shoes : ADIDAS | Originals Stan Smith Sneakers *white

Bag : COACH | Vintage

Sunglasses : RAY-BAN | Original Wayfarer 50mm *black

make believe: fresh, green spring

Kermit doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s pretty easy to be green. It’s an earthy color full of vivacity and life, and incredibly wearable.

I’ve been having a serious green moment lately, particularly with how different shades of green hold different meanings and feelings. The first time I wore green eyeshadow I felt invincible. Not sure if it was the being 14 and experimenting with my first ever makeup palette, or if it was that I had chosen the most electric shade of lime green. My shade preference has definitely developed over the years, but I still love a good shade of green.

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Maybe it’s because of my eye color or growing up in the country surrounded by leafy trees, but a deep, olive-hunter green will always be my go-to. There is a certain comfortability and, even when it’s not a violent, lime color green, invincibility to the color. When colors give you nostalgia it’s amazing how much you find yourself reaching for them.

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