THE RETURN OF THE COOK!

Many things have happened since last I wrote, both in life and apparently in WordPress. Everything looks very scary and confusing. (Am I talking about life or WordPress?! You’ll never know.)

So I have returned from glorious Estonia 🇪🇪 🇪🇪 🇪🇪 🇪🇪 🇪🇪  and am in AMERICA for like a month. I have been enjoying my gluttonous, wicked comforts, such as air conditioning and General Tso’s chicken (haha lol oops vegetarianism). And I bought challah. And the chip-and-pin machines don’t work here. And everyone speaks English, which is terrible, because you have to hear all the very dumb things they say. Personal favorite: “I totally just had the runs in that bathroom!” I heard that on 6th Avenue and 34th Street. And I keep drinking Starbucks, because they don’t have it in Estonia, and in Russia I can’t understand what they say because they speak in Russian. Basically I’m enjoying myself.

I was *extremely* thirsty while I was grocery shopping just now, so I bought, among other things, Gatorade (bright green because I love green), watermelon, and the ingredients for dill pickles (or basically just dill and cucumbers since I forgot all the other ingredients). If we have vinegar in the house, I am going to make them.

After searching for vinegar: Here is a picture of all the vinegars we have in the house. Most of them were donated to my parents by me, two years ago, when I moved out of the Official Relatively Shitty Apartment. And none of them is white vinegar, except for the one that is white vinegar, but there’s like hardly any white vinegar left.

I also found a six-pack of Harpoon Rye IPA, which sounds like the best thing ever, but it was filled with Sam Adams. Ahem, parents.

The annoying thing is that I know I’ve made dill pickles before, because I remember being really impressed with myself that they were good, but I can’t find it anywhere on this blog, which completely defeats the purpose. I just spent 500 hours looking through the blog archives and definitely did not find it, but I did learn that my hair has evolved extensively in the past four years. I will not include a picture, but just know that.

My initial plan was to use an actual Russian recipe since that seemed like it would be very badass and interesting and blogworthy. The ones I found in particular were: marinated (or apparently this word means “pickled” too) cucumbers “Nostalgia,” pickles “everyone asks for the recipe,” and pickles “crunchy” (whose name is really lacking in creativity; step it up, people). The problem is that most of them don’t have quantities. They just say, “Add cucumbers.” And the instructions for one of them says, “Collect cucumbers,” and there’s a picture of a baby picking cucumbers from a plant. I’m just going to give you my translation of this one recipe so you’ll understand why I’m having problems.

Vinegar (table) – 250 ml
Water – 5 cups
Sugar – .5 cup
Salt – 1 st. l.
Cucumbers (fresh)
Sweet pepper (peas)
Garlic
Leaf of currant
Leaf of cherry
Dill (umbrella)
Leaf of lavrov – 1 piece
Mustard (seeds) – 6 pieces

So like obviously I’m not a moron (cough, I guess that’s not obvious, actually) and can do better translating, but I just want you all to be as disoriented as I am for a moment. I’m going to cop out and do an easier (read: in English) recipe, even though it will fail in the end because I’m only doing this because I miss Estonia but now I’m going to end up with non-Estonian-ish pickles. (Sorry, I cannot isolate the difference between Russian and Estonian pickles. I am sure there is a very important difference, spiritually and ideologically, but I do not know what it is.)

img_2885-1

Kirby cucumbers and a knife. Exciting shit.

The other thing is that vinegar is only 5% here, whereas it’s like 15% or higher there, so it is probably better to stick with an American recipe. Right??? Ugh I don’t know everything is terrible.

The pickles I like are also very different there and in Russia, crunchier and more like cucumbers, just a bit changed. This is all I want, but I don’t know if it’s possible.

On with it. Cucumbers are quartered (and the ends chopped off, because I don’t like eating them). Garlic is peeled. Water is heated. Dill is folded and slid into jars.

Little trees in jars

(IMPORTANT NOTE: THESE ARE REFRIGERATOR PICKLES. I AM NOT CANNING THEM. THEY WILL HAVE TO BE EATEN IN A WEEK. IF YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR PICKLES AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, YOU HAVE TO STERILIZE YOUR JARS AND DO A LOT OF OTHER IMPORTANT, FANCY STUFF, OTHERWISE YOU WILL *LITERALLY* DIE. This recipe says they keep for 3 months, though, so maybe you won’t die? I don’t know. I’m scared now.)

Vinegar, salt, and water are boiled together. Cucumbers are stuffed into jars (far more cucumbers than wanted to go in the jars. They are a lonely species, cucumbers, and they don’t like to be held so close to one another) and the brine is poured in. Now they are cooling.


That is it. This has been a fantastic, impressive comeback.

 

Refrigerator Dill Pickles
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ted-allen/refrigerator-pickles-cauliflower-carrots-cukes-you-name-it-recipe.html

(I more or less used this recipe, but I used only 5 cucumbers and halved the brine. But I did use 8 cloves of garlic. And I omitted all the spices except the black pepper, because I didn’t have them.)

Update: It’s like 11:47 PM and I just tasted one. It had only been in the fridge for about six hours or so; it was pretty decent but not like overwhelmingly miraculous. I will update you again tomorrow. I miss my Lake Peipsi pickles.

IMG_2374

Really psyched to be able to share this glorious photo with the world. I would eat these plain for dinner when it was hot in my flat.

 

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