Bzzzz September 25th, 2014

Well, hello there! Did you notice I was gone? Did you miss me? I missed you.

Truly, I didn’t set out to take nearly a full year off from blog­ging here at Bum­ble­bee. Some­times, life just gets in the way. Some­times you have to make a choice between liv­ing life or writ­ing about it. Not that liv­ing and writ­ing are mutu­ally exclu­sive, of course. I rec­og­nize that. Heck, all those Mount Ever­est climbers, round-the-world sailors, Appalachian Trail hik­ers, North Pole explor­ers and Eng­lish Chan­nel swim­mers are cer­tainly pro­lific about crank­ing out the books. I bet some of them even blog more than once a year.

It’s just that I was writ­ing other things, par­tic­u­larly for work. But I did write also write a book. Yes, it’s finally out! Wis­dom for Home Pre­servers was released at the begin­ning of this month.

I sneaked into Barnes & Noble the other day and took a selfie with the only copy they had on their store shelf. I sup­pose they had sold the dozens of other copies they had stocked because they really did have only one copy. Just one!

wisdom in Barnes and Noble

Let that be a les­son to you. You must run right out and buy a copy before they are all gone!

The book includes 500 (500!) tips about can­ning, freez­ing, cur­ing, smok­ing, root cel­lar­ing and more. It’s an easy read and the spe­cially com­mis­sioned linocut prints by print­maker Melvyn Evans pro­vide a nice retro vibe to this tidy lit­tle hard­back book.

I’ll be back soon writ­ing about the life I’m liv­ing. It’s not Chan­nel swim­ming or polar explo­ration though. Just more coun­try life.

 

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Bzzzz August 20th, 2013

Solo lunches can be such deli­cious affairs. You can eat left­overs. (One of my all-time favorite foods.) You can eat stand­ing at the frig. (Not rec­om­mended.) Or you can build a gourmet sand­wich from fix­ins’ and condi­ments you have on-hand, such as these pretty and pink pick­led red onions.

pickled red onions3

The fact is, some of my favorite type of restau­rant menus to peruse are from sand­wich joints. It’s amaz­ing the wild and won­der­ful things hum­ble sand­wich restau­rants can come up with—usually for less than $10.

Years ago, one of my favorite lunchtime breaks from work was at a restau­rant that packed a pita with ched­dar cheese, black and green olives. That’s it. Four ingre­di­ents. But it was packed full and then fired in the wood oven and served with a sim­ple vinai­grette. Think­ing back on it, it’s a good thing my metab­o­lism was fir­ing high in those days because that sand­wich prob­a­bly had about 1,500 calories—before the french fries on the side!

These days I like to keep spe­cialty condi­ments in the frig for days when I have home­made bread and can jus­tify the calo­ries. Favorite ingre­di­ents include pick­les of all types, avo­ca­dos, hum­mus or other bean dip, arugula and any­thing cheese.

In my opin­ion, a food gets extra points if it’s pretty, so I wanted pretty pick­led onions for my condi­ment selec­tion. These onions fit the bill and make a per­fect addi­tion to the toasted Swiss, avo­cado and arugula sand­wich I’m crav­ing a lot these days. Total time is about an hour once you have assem­bled all your sup­plies and ingre­di­ents. You’ll take away about seven or eight lit­tle half-pint jars. You can give some as gifts or just hoard them all for your­self and those sand­wich days.

Pick­led Red Onions

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In my opin­ion, a food gets extra points if it’s pretty, so I wanted pretty pick­led onions for my condi­ment selec­tion. These onions fit the bill and make a per­fect addi­tion to the toasted Swiss, avo­cado and arugula sand­wich I’m crav­ing a lot these days. Total time is about an hour once you have assem­bled all your sup­plies and ingre­di­ents. You’ll take away about seven or eight lit­tle half-pint jars. You can give some as gifts or just hoard them all for your­self and those sand­wich days.

Pick­led Red Onions

  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rat­ing: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!

In my opin­ion, a food gets extra points if it’s pretty, so I wanted pretty pick­led onions for my condi­ment selec­tion. These onions fit the bill and make a per­fect addi­tion to the toasted Swiss, avo­cado and arugula sand­wich I’m crav­ing a lot these days. Total time is about an hour once you have assem­bled all your sup­plies and ingre­di­ents. You’ll take away about seven or eight lit­tle half-pint jars. You can give some as gifts or just hoard them all for your­self and those sand­wich days.

Ingre­di­ents

Serv­ings:
Units:

Instruc­tions
  1. Ster­il­ize 7 to 8 half-pint can­ning jars and lids in a water bath can­ner. While jars process, slice onions.

  2. Com­bine vine­gar, sugar and salt in a dutch oven. Bring to a boil and sum­mer until sugar and salt are dis­solved. Add sliced onion to the vine­gar mix­ture and reduce heat. Sim­mer, uncov­ered, for about 5 min­utes. Do not let the onions get soft.

  3. Remove jars from water bath. Place 1/4 tea­spoon all­spice berries, 1/4 tea­spoon mus­tard seeds, one bay leaf and one sprig of thyme into each jar. Trans­fer onions to each jar and top with the hot vine­gar liq­uid, leav­ing 1/2 inch head­space.

  4. Fin­ger tighten lids on the jars to seal and process jars in the water bath can­ner for 10 min­utes. Remove jars from water and let stand, undis­turbed, at room tem­per­a­ture for 24 hours.

  5. Check the jars. Prop­erly sealed jars will make a POP sound as they cool and/or the metal lid will be slightly con­cave. If you can press the lid and make a pop­ping sound, the jar is not sealed. Store unsealed jars in the refrig­er­a­tor and use right away. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place and use within one year.

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