Thanksgiving Pickles

It was a beautiful fall day today here in the Bay area. After a busy week at work that included some out of state travel, I promised myself that I wouldn’t plan anything this weekend and just live it minute by minute.

This is the weekend before Thanksgiving so I had fun shopping for Thursday’s dinner. First I visited the Downtown Berkeley Ecology Center Farmers Market for a few basics – potatoes, onions, mushrooms – but I also picked up some ingredients to make pickles and kimchi because I am always hungry for pickled foods this time of year. Plus, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a pickle plate! I visited the Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland for specialty foods including very fresh seafood from Hapuku Fish Shop, locally produced meats from Marin Sun Meats, and world class wines from Paul Marcus Wines.

Salting Napa cabbage for kimchi

Salting Napa cabbage for kimchi

I didn’t can my grandmother’s pickled beets this summer so I decided to make a “quick pickle” recipe that was shared with me by Jane Wilson Morton, the niece of the co-owners of Werth and O’Brien’s Deli in Flatbush. Brooklyn. This German deli is long gone but I was able to publish this recipe in my book Pickled (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2003). This recipe can be prepared 1-3 days before enjoying, and can be made without sealing jars in a hot water bath. It’s very simple and tasty!  Click on the image below to see the full recipe.


Werth and O'Brien's Pickled Beets

Werth and O’Brien’s Pickled Beets


In addition to beets, I made a jar of pickled cherry peppers (again for the refrigerator) and I began salting two heads of Napa cabbage that I bought of the farmers market today for kimchi. I also roasted some red jalapeno peppers to make a spicy version of romesco-style sauce to accompany roasted Brussels sprouts.

Roasted red jalapeno chile peppers in oil with garlic

Roasted red jalapeno chile peppers in oil with garlic

Through the years I’ve had fun posting to this blog about Thanksgiving, including a post dedicated to family favorites like Thanksgiving dressing. If you aren’t sure how to make Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing, be sure to check out that link for inspiration. I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.


CSA Week 11: Three Pound Bag of Peppers

I really enjoy claiming my CSA share each week from Sol to Seed Farm.  It’s now week 11 of this year’s 20-week farm share and this box, like every box, represents what’s grown in Western Washington and in season now in early September.  This week’s box includes:
Cassius and Roxy enjoy CSA Week 11

Cassius and Roxy enjoy CSA Week 11

Sweet Peppers, Assorted – 3 lbs
Rainbow Chard
Honeydew and Cantaloupe Melon
…and a free loaf of Goldendale Bread from Grand Central Baking Co
While I’m very thankful for this beautiful, locally grown produce, there are only two of us to eat it at our house.  I learned how to cook from observing my mom, dad, relatives and other home cooks I’ve met on my life’s journey.  I had some culinary training as well as “on the job” training. I’m inspired to cook from watching PBS cooking shows (always have).  Nowadays when I’m looking for a different approach to cooking and new recipes, I reference the wisdom of CSA food bloggers throughout the country who are busy chronicling their lives and what they do with the contents of their local CSA shares. In fact, In Her Chucks (a delightful blog) maintains a CSA blogger’s “recipe round-up” on InLinkz each week where CSA bloggers are invited to add web-links to share posts with recipes.  I’ve been sharing my Brinylife blogs for about two years and have connected with other like-minded (and like- hearted) people from all over the country–those who are committed to telling a story of what eating local means to them, but often sharing a personal snapshot of “the good life” from their perch.  It’s never pretentious.
3 lbs. of peppers…what to do?
This week I have a huge three- pound bag of sweet peppers in addition to last week’s uneaten haul of sweet peppers.  One can only make so much peperonata. I’m saving a few bell peppers back for eating raw with salads and I’m roasting the rest.  Roasted sweet peppers can be tossed into pasta, atop sandwiches (tuna melts are great with roasted peppers), or mixed into grain salads for color and added brightness.  It’s easy to roast peppers and store in the refrigerator.
Roasted Sweet Peppers
  • 3-4 lbs. of sweet peppers, halved, stems and seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a roasting pan and then place the pepper halves on top of the paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until peppers are dark brown or blackened around the edges, about 1 hour.  Turn the pan 180 degrees after about thirty minutes to cook evenly.  Let cool.
Chopped roasted peppers  were included in a pizza tonight

Chopped roasted peppers were included in a pizza tonight

For an extra flavorful twist, pack roasted peppers into a Mason jar. Bring to boil 1 part water and 1 part red wine vinegar and a teaspoon of sea salt (sliced garlic for more pungency) and pour over roasted peppers.  Wait until completely cooled before placing in the refrigerator.  This can be stored for up to two weeks chilled.
For some reason, Cassius thinks he would like some roasted peppers....hmmm, always research what foods are safe to feed your pet before treating. Green and red peppers can be consumed by dogs safely

For some reason, Cassius thinks he would like some roasted peppers….hmmm, always research what foods are safe to feed your pet before treating. Green and red peppers can be consumed by dogs safely