Putting Myself in a Pickling State

“Why would you pickle a perfectly good strawberry?” My mother asked me.

Moments earlier, she’d been telling me that I had become a better cook than her (which I protest—adamantly so), and I had texted her a picture of my latest project:  pickled strawberries. In the jars, the strawberries looked like rubies against darkness of the balsamic vinegar. I had been rather enamored with their appearance, which is what prompted me to send her the picture. Without knowing what was in the jars, she suggested that the picture was proof I was a better cook. (Again, proposition rejected!)

Once I told her what I had done to those 2½ pound of perfectly good strawberries though, I lost all credibility and comments about my cooking prowess ceased.

Continue reading “Putting Myself in a Pickling State”

Chunky Pumpkin Veggie Chili

As the weather cools, I start craving both sweet and savory pumpkin dishes and returning home to a house that smells like a spicy chili had been slowly cooking in a crock pot all day. Last year, I searched and searched for a pumpkin-chili recipe that (1) was vegetarian, (2) used chunks of pumpkin, (3) used a crock pot, and (4) was still a chili and not the sordid conflagration between a chili and a dessert with cocoa powder or pumpkin pie spice. I didn’t find such a recipe, and the closest recipe I did find called for ½ cup of butter AND ½ a cup of olive oil. (No wonder it got rave reviews!)

Continue reading “Chunky Pumpkin Veggie Chili”