The April FIJ Challenge is quick pickles, also known as refrigerator pickles as they are not canned and must be stored in the fridge (rather than on the shelf). Given nice asparagus is so plentiful in the markets these days and DH and I just planted some crowns in the fine hope of picking our own in a year or two, it seemed like good practice to try this recipe: Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus.
It was a hit. From the cook's perspective, the recipe is indeed easy. There's photographic evidence, barely, of the results – this quart jar used to be full. Apparently the quick in quick pickles refers to more than just the speed with which they can be prepared. The asparagus pickles disappeared so fast, I didn't even hear the happy chomping. The only clue was an off-hand observation that the pickle flavor got stronger as time went by.
Aficionados of quick pickles claim they are brighter-tasting and crisper than their processed analogs, and can be put up in smaller batches. Considerable virtues indeed, although as my refrigerator space is limited I can't say they outweigh the value of preserving large quantities of the harvest in a shelf-stable way. Not to mention that when the happy chompers realized this, they began agitating for canned pickled asparagus in increasingly louder and grumpier tones. Also for tweaks to the pickling spices. Oh my.
Much of the fun, and value, of the can-along is seeing what others make. I'm enamored of the many examples of pickled hard-boiled eggs that triumphantly graced Easter sideboards in multi-colored splendor... but the once-happy, then agitated chompers at casa Jersey Knitter turned positively revolting at the prospect. Something about how HB eggs are a perfect food that must be spared hideous adulterants. Well, except for a bit of salt... or soy sauce... or mayonnaise... then there's potato salad... and HB eggs and gravlax (I made more gravlax)....
It's enough to drive a cook to slow knitting.
While the rest of Sock Madness charges along (Round 2 ends today!), I've been working on the second sock of the qualifying pattern, Twisted Madness. Slowly, because the pattern stitch makes my wrists hurt. Yet slow progress is still progress, and will do for now.