Saturday, 22 September 2012

Sunday Foodie Bit! In a Pickle!

Fruiting and then decay, new life next year!

Season of Harvest!

Fast approaching is the time when fresh British produce will start to disappear off the shelf in the supermarkets!  We are already seeing some of this happening.  Food we are warned will be slightly (understatement) more expensive and certain supermarkets seem to be upping the price already even though there is still British produce about.

We have higher wheat prices on the way owing to poor harvests.  A knock on effect is that feedstuffs will increase for livestock and the price will go up!

So turn back to the traditions of Northern and Eastern Europe and start pickling all that is available now!   May be time consuming but can be rewarding in the fact you have achieved something yourself.  A social element of pickling can also be achieved.  I have many years ago run a pickling competition in the local pub.  I bought a bag of onions (14 lb in old value) and then sold the onions for at a £1 a pint to participants with the money going to charity.

 As Christmas approached the  participants all started comparing their onions verbally.  Seemingly they knew their onions.  All sorts of nefarious advice had been given as to how best to make your onions, varying from chillies to some rich soul suggesting adding malt whiskey.  Participants were     starting to become nervous, stories of people tasting one of their jars and then deciding that they needed to add "improvers" started to provoke grumbles of  un-sportmanslike behaviour.  

The judging night came along on the Sunday usually just after Christmas or there abouts.  The evening had also matured into a cheese  evening!  The range of cheeses brought in as favourites ranged from Stinking Bishop to Shropshire and a very unimaginative Dairylea, but at least they brought their onions!   Washed down with whatever Greene King drink happened to be at hand, the "tasting scores" for each onion were totalled up and then the winner was declared.  The only memorable verdict of the night was that malt whisky is not a good additive for pickled onions! 
Pickling recipes to follow!

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