Thursday, April 23, 2015

Salt and Pepper Pickled Eggs

Eggs! New beginnings, continuation, future possibilities, potent mystery, seeds of species. Eggs represent many things to many people. And, eggs are delicious. Spring is surely the time nature finds most suitable for generative activity. And, here in the flumdiddley kitchen we have lots of fun with eggs that become many tasty meals…Some quick, others maturing through the seasons for carrying the pleasure of spring and summer into the dark of winter.

While browsing at a local nursery last week, I happened upon this tiny nest tucked into a row of geraniums! Nature accommodates, the birds make do with possibility...

A tiny nest tucked into the geraniums at a local nursery!

Chickens at RavenCroft have managed to live on the wild side this season. Finding their nests has been a source of joy and consternation. Seems a raccoon in the neighborhood enjoys soft protein as much as I do! Using nettle as a hiding place proved a wise move on the wiley chicken's part and made for a quick supper in our kitchen. Green Eggs and Nettle being a long time favorite.
Brown and green eggs in the nettle patch...

Last week I brought the last jar of Pickled Eggs up from the cellar, the plain, ordinary Salt and Pepper recipe. It was a beautiful day for working in the garden so a quick trip to the cellar provided ingredients for a tasty potluck contribution at our Snoqualmie Valley Tilth farmers' monthly potluck. There is no easier way to preserve the bounty of spring for a future time than by vinegar brine pickling…even eggs.

Salt & Pepper Eggs from the cellar
Here's an easy Salt and Pepper Pickled Egg recipe you might enjoy trying in your kitchen this spring…As we move through the year watch for recipes for Rainbow Eggs in every season hatching here in the flumdiddley kitchen blog.
Diced Pickled Egg with dooryard herbs

Salt and Pepper Pickled Eggs
12 eggs, hard boiled, leave one egg in it's shell, peel the rest
1 - 1 qt canning jar with plastic lid
.5 - 1 tsp whole pepper corns

Salt Brine:
1.5 cups Apple cider vinegar
.5 cup water
2 T pickling salt
Mix in a small nonreactive saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve salt into vinegar.

Place the 1 egg in shell at the bottom of canning jar (as eggs stand through the months ahead, the calcium in the shell dissolves into the brine deepening accessible nutrients)
Add pepper corns to taste.
Add peeled, hard boiled eggs to fill jar.
Pour slightly cooled brine over all and cap. When jar cools place in refrigerator. I've stored eggs for up to 8 months brined and refrigerated. They make quick and tasty morsels all through the year. And, the brine is an excellent nutrient rich addition to cooked beans, salad dressings and over hot rice!

Egg Salad on its way to Tilth Farmer's Potluck

Pickled Egg Salad

12 pickled eggs, chopped
Add enough yogurt, mayonnaise or mix of both to make a spreadable texture
Add minced herbs, whatever you have in the garden or available at your farmer's market or green grocer...Chives, sorrel, thyme, sweet marjoram, young leeks, parsley, fennel and lovage all work well.
Have fun with the changing flavors as the seasons turn one to the next.
Freya with her hatched "egg",  another unfolding creation

Pickled eggs run deep in my family's storyline. One of my favorite stories is about great Uncle Elmer's one room cabin set in the plains of Manitoba. There, a shelf near the ceiling ran on three sides of the room and on that shelf were gallon jars of pickled eggs. Imagine, if you will, a major portion of your diet being from the simple, whole nutrition in eggs. Those eggs got Uncle Elmer through many a cold winter on the rolling Canadian plains. Their piquant, tangy flavor still brings great pleasure to our table today. Enjoy!

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