Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pickled What?

My mother-in-law, Mama Lou, calls me on Friday to tell me about this great new recipe, "Pickled Grapes." OK, I have heard of okra, asparagus, and onions being pickled. Even eggs and one of my dad's after work snacks "Pickled Pigs Feet." That one I always declined to try!

So when Saturday dawns, I decided to try my hand at "pickled grapes." Mama Lou had told me the ingredients, so I went to the internet and found one that had all the correct spices, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes. I did all my Saturday errands and stopped at the local Tom Thumb last for groceries. Red, green, black grapes...check...rosemary, garlic...check...white vinegar, kosher salt...check. Sugar was in the pantry and we always have red pepper flakes.  Look for pint jars - none to be found. Jaclyn was with me and volunteered (I think) to go to Wal-Mart and get the jars.

While she was gone, I plucked the grapes off the stems and washed them well. When she arrived, we started making the pickled part. Water, rosemary . . . . . where's the rosemary? All three of us; I, Jaclyn and Ronnie looked everywhere, the fridge, the trunk of the car, the pantry, the microwave (I have been known to put items in there that belonged elsewhere). Looked at the receipt and I paid for it so . . . into the car and back to Tom Thumb. Customer Service was very nice and told me to go get another package.

Back to the house, add red pepper flakes. . . . NONE, I can't believe it, we have NONE.  This is a staple in the pantry and there are NONE.  Text the neighbor and a few minutes later her great kids show up with a baggy of red pepper flakes.  OK, we are ready but, did we put in the sugar, vinegar, kosher salt? Don't really remember, but we continued with the rosemary and garlic. Mama Lou's jars had a stick of rosemary, our recipe said to take the needles of a 4" stem of rosemary, so we did. Simmered this concoction and then poured over the grapes in the jar; made 3 pints. Let the jars cool to room temperature, and then into the fridge for at least an hour. By now it is time for Ronnie to cook our mini-steaks on the grill.

Bedtime. Ronnie and I decide to try the grapes - Mama Lou, REALLY? You liked these?!?!? Then I started thinking about the day. I think we may have skipped a few ingredients - mainly the sugar - oh, yea the vinegar was supposed to be white WINE vinegar. 

So come this Saturday, Jaclyn will be gone to the Citizen's Police Academy and Ronnie will be at Christian Brothers doing free oil changes for single mothers, and I will go the grocery store and buy more grapes, white WINE vinegar, stock up on red pepper flakes and check my bag before I leave to come home and make "Pickled Grapes Uninterrupted!"

The funniest part though was when Jaclyn came back over on Sunday. We told her how good they were and she tried one and promptly spit it out!

Here is a beautiful picture of Mama Lou’s “Pickled Grapes.”  Below is the recipe!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crispy Fall Weather - Fall Mantel Party 2010

It is so wonderful to finally feel the cool air and the renewal of my spirit. The 100+ temperatures in North Texas made me very “dewy.” I should have bought stock in P&G for deodorant alone!

As soon as the morning air was the slightest crisp, it was time to celebrate by decorating my mantel to bring this new season into my home.

The cornucopia was made several years ago. I bought “fall bushes” took the flowers and leaves apart and glued them to round stryfoam ball. Since orange is not my favorite color, I choose more of the purples and reds. The candle holders and candles I received a couple of Christmas’s ago from my boss (yes, she is a female).