Something that doesn’t sound sexy at all. Not so much the word itself. Rather it’s association with a certain timeless salty sour, slightly bitter and harsh flavor. It’s consistency equals this sensation. Which is quite the opposite of smooth, pleasant in the mouth or softly touching my lips. It’s Jurassic like crocodiles, perky like cactusses and often cold, damp cold. Are we talking about food? Yes! And about everything it beholds: nutrition, pleasure, connection, warmth, taking care, paying attention, surprise and a whole lot of dedication. All at the same time, preferably.
In no two different culinary traditions it’s done the same way. But I dare say that each and every culinary tradition does know it’s own variation of the art of pickling. Maybe eskimo’s and Tibetans have been able to stay away from it, thanks to their fridge-worthy surroundings. The rest of the world needed methods to conserve their precious food.
A quarter of one cauliflower head, cut in the small roses, the size of cashew nuts, is to be transferred into a glass confit jar. It’s nice to use an authentic one, with orange rubber lining to secure keeping the jar air tight. But a former jam jar works just as well for these quick pickling methods. Add a six centimeter strip of orange peel to it. The jars I use contain 500 ml. But you can use any size. Then measure half of the content, in my case 250 ml, apple cider vinegar and the other half, 250 ml plain water and heat in a pot. Add a generous tablespoon of sugar and a generous tablespoon of salt. Heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved and the liquid is at the verge of boiling. Then take it from the heat and carefully poor it over the cauliflower in the glass jar. Close lid. Let it cool. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. After which it is ready to use although it can be kept pretty much timelessly. The hot liquid quick pickling method I prefer for hard vegetables like roots and cabbages or watermelon rind. The same conjunction of vinegar, water, salt and sugar can be poored cold as is, over soft vegetables like zucchini, cucumber or onion. What I like about quick pickling is that it’s so easy. Already after 24 hours, you can enjoy your very homemade pickles. To all handsome ladies and smart guys in the kitchen my message here is: ‘please don’t forget to KISS’, in other words, Keep It Stupid and Simple
Yesterday I made love with the love of my life during five hours. We parted and I felt pretty depleted. Both emotionally and physically. We both went our ways, picking up our kids from different schools. At my kid’s school the Thursday market was on and my youngest daughter’s class due for bbq’ed sausages. As a raw-vegan culinary addict I love anything food related, including grilling supermarket sausages. Or is it the handing them out to kids and parents alike, I love? A few hours later, cold and almost dark outside now, I’d parked myself behind the stove in my own kitchen, baking mini pancakes made of many left over egg yolks (debris of croquettes made without liquid egg white to coat them), self raising flour, diary milk, turmeric, smoked red chillie and cumin. Creating and enjoying it, my senses fully open; it struck me. I want to discover what food is all about. Or what food and me are about. Our relationship, if I may.
Recipes of a pretty woman is meant to be a superficial account of what I do food related. Or maybe it is about all the senses. An expression of feelings, emotions, beauty, sadness, open or closed, restraint or let go, mixed with sweetness, spices, deliciousness and mishappenings, sensuality and short cuts. But most of all it will surpass the mind, logic and the world as we understand it.