Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weathering the Relish



As mentioned previously Minnesota is experiencing some oddly warm weather. Being a global warming alarmist (as a designation or description, "climate change" is too anemic for this green girl), I am disturbed and worried about the coming seasons. We make due, carry on, and grill; likely adding to the extreme weather trends by emitting more carbon. But apparently charcoal is greener than propane. And in our home we eat fewer cows these days, opting instead for a lot of locally raised trout and happy chickens who, I am convinced, are stroked and loved and pampered until their Soylent Green-like euthanasia-induced deaths. (Yes, I have a thing for campy Charlton Heston movies.)

Being an environmentally friendly citizen is not easy, but it can be tasty. Homemade quick pickles, relishes, and spreads (think mustard, ketchup, and other sauces) add a creative spin to an otherwise commonplace meal. Now that spring vegetables are on the horizon, I am excited to brew up some radish mustard and garlic scape pickles.

Sweet Cucumber Relish
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon allspice berries
1 tablespoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 English cucumber, diced fine
1/4 cup red onion, diced fine

In small saucepan bring sugar, water, and allspice to simmer and heat until sugar is dissolved, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add remaining ingredients and store in refrigerator up to a week.

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