My pole beans are growing about 4 inches a day now. It will be a long time before they actually start to produce beans, but I’m already thinking about recipes for those beans. I tend to eat lots of salads during the hot and humid days of summer as I can’t bear to heat up the kitchen even more than it already is with cooking!
The bean wtih the dark stem and the purple veining to the leaf is the “Violetto” which has lovely violet colored flowers and dark purple beans. It is not a prolific bean producer, but it is pretty! The “Kentucky Wonder” beans are prolific and delicious. The sugar snap beans are the oldest of the lot, stored in the fridge from 2011, and they are growing just fine.
Recently, I came across a brand of bread and butter pickles in the store that I had never seen before. (Believe me, I am not just rambling on about this and that…this will all come together nice and neatly.) The brand is Woodstock and the pickles are organic. This was the only bottle of these pickles on the shelf and it was marked down to $3 and something. The normal price was just over $6. It was a 24 ounce bottle, it looked interesting to me, and at that price for that size bottle, it was certainly worth purchasing.
Well, let me tell you….WOW! You know how somethings taste so good you slowly savor each and every bite. That’s how good these pickles are. Even though I doled these out sparingly, the bottle was empty in no time at all. But the juice…ahh, the juice…much too good to throw out. I’d add a spoon to the coleslaw or potato salad every now and then but I still had a substantial amount left in the bottle.
How about pickled pole beans? I looked on the internet, and sure enough people were saving their pickle juice and using it to pickle beans, carrots, cauliflower, etc. What the heck, you could even pickle hardboiled eggs and cooked shrimp in the stuff! A whole new culinary world of pickling was unfolding before me.
But if I were going to jump into the pickling pool, I’d have to get more Woodstock Organic pickles. I buy my vitamins and herbal supplements from www.vitacost.com and they also carry Woodstock Organic foods. The price for the 24 ounce jar of pickles was $5 something but shipping is free for orders totalling $49 or more. So I bought more Woodstock pickles from them. Woodstock also carries a variety of dill pickles which I haven’t yet tried.
Anticipating delivery of my shipment of Woodstock pickles, I continued to research pickle juice recipes and I spotted something on the web. This something was called a “Pickletini”.
I’ve heard of a “dirty” martini where you add a little of the olive brine to your drink. So why not pickle juice? There are different variations of recipes out there for the Pickletini. My first attempt was a gin martini with a couple of drops of dry vermouth and about one teaspoon of pickle juice. Delicious! You could tell there was something slightly different about the taste but you wouldn’t know there was pickle juice in it. So I added another teaspoon. Again, very good. But after a few sips, it seemed to me the pickle juice was a little too much. One teaspoon was perfect, two was a little too much of a good thing to my taste.
As I didn’t yet have my new shipment of pickles, I skewered one of those large flat sandwich style bread and butter pickles onto my cocktail pick and took the photo above. These pickles were a well known brand name and I thought they were okay on a sandwich or burger. But they didn’t skewer well, they were kind of mushy. And once I put them in the martini, I could see the martini turning yellow. The taste of the martini became quite unpleasant. I looked at the ingredients on that pickle jar…high fructose corn syrup and “yellow 5” dye. A perfectly good Pickletini ruined. The Woodstock pickles do not contain dye or high fructose corn syrup. In the future, I think I would add a pickled onion to the pickletini.
As I actually start “pickling” things in my pickle juice, I’ll report back.
Summer is here…the oakleaf hydrangea is in bloom.
And the black-eyed Susans are waiving in the breeze.
That’s the way it is, July 1, 2014.