Tag Archives: Pickled vegetables

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letter R…


Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is R…

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Jarlsberg, Korma, Apple and Tursu a variety of Turkish pickled vegetables… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…R is somewhat easier than the letter Q was…

Today it is words where the middle letter is R.

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Amberjack Fish…

A fish with many names and one which I know as Yellowtail…with pale pink flesh, firm, large flakes and a sweet flavour itis one of my favourite fish…Unfortunately, Wild Amberjack have the tendency to have parasites. Hiramasa from Japan is also an Amberjack but does not have a parasite tendency.

It is also good to note that Amberjack is not a Tuna, although it has been marketed as Amberjack Tuna.

Recipe for Yellow Tail Fish (Amberjack)…which is pictured above…one of my favourite ways to cook this fish…x


Around for thousands of years and said to be one of the very first frozen foods Asparagus is a little green powerhouse, chock a block full of Vitamin K as well as many other vitamins and anti-oxidants. A favourite vegetable which is a regular in my kitchen it pairs with almost everything from bacon, prawns(shrimp) even strawberries lightly steamed with some garlic butter it is heavenly and so very delicious…who doesn’t love the very first asparagus of the season?

For some delicious recipes please click this link…and most importantly enjoy!


From the tiny pea eggplants to the beautiful purple Aubergine this vegetable comes in many colours, shapes and sizes…Aubergine is a French word, and it is how Europeans refer to what Americans would typically call an eggplant…However, I am a Brit and I also call it eggplant unless I am referring to the beautiful purple variety… It is called eggplant because the original aubergine that was brought to North America by immigrants looked like white eggs. … Italian recipes use the more traditional purple eggplant…However, you use it it is both delicious and healthy…

Boursin Cheese…

Was the very first cream cheese from France that I tried many moons ago…Boursin is a brand of Gournay cheese. It is a soft creamy cheese available in a variety of flavours, with a flavour and texture somewhat similar to cream cheese. The first Boursin flavour, Garlic and Fine Herbs was created in 1957 by François Boursin, a cheese maker from Normandy.


Loved by many these flour tortillas when wrapped around a medley of fillings is one delicious bite…they are suitable for both carnivores and vegetarians…there are many theories as to the origins of the burrito…for street vendors they were easy transport and a good way to serve…of Mexican origin, they can contain a mixture of beans, rice, meat, guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, corn, peppers, lettuce the list is endless even chocolate…

Beelitzer Spargel…

Asparagus by another name…Beelitzer Spargel is a variety of very thick asparagus grown in the Beelitzer Sander and parts of the Teltow-Fläming rural district in Germany. This seasonal vegetable has a long tradition – in 1861, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Hermann became the first person to plant whole fields of asparagus in Beelitz…it always fascinates me how much of a connection a word can have which is bourne out in my Saturday Snippets…

There are two types – white, grown in complete sun deprivation, and green, which are ripened in the sun. During the season, Beelitzer Spargel is the leading star of local cuisine, and the annual asparagus festival is a beloved tourist attraction.


Currants and gooseberries are two closely related species within the genus Ribes. This genus is diverse with more than 150 known species and hundreds of cultivated varieties …a versatile and nutritious fruit that varies in presentation, flavour, shape, size, texture, and colour…red, white, pink, and black…Plants are thornless and fruit is small (pea-sized) and produced and harvested in a grape-like cluster called a “strig.”


Because of their tart flavour, currants are seldom eaten fresh but are used for processing into juices, jams, and jellies. Black currants are noted for their strong odour and astringent flavour although as kids it didn’t stop us from raiding the currant bushes and coming away with telltale juice stained mouths and fingers highly prized for juice products and their high nutrient content. Vitamin C concentrations can be as high as 250 milligrams per 100 grams of juice, even after 6 months of storage…Ribena was a childhood treat and my mum’s blackcurrant jam on fresh bread is a treasured memory…and still something I love to eat…

Derby Cheese…

Derby is a traditional English style cheese from the rural county of Derbyshire, England. Its history goes back to at least the 17th century. In many respects, Derby is similar to Cheddar but has a softer body and slightly higher moisture content.

Regular Derby is a yellow cheese with a firm texture similar to cheddar. Sage Derby used to be made only at harvest time and for holidays and special celebrations, but these days, thanks to its popularity, it is available year-round. The addition of sage leaves to Derby curd was not done for looks or even taste. During the 17th century, this ancient evergreen perennial herb was believed to have powerful therapeutic properties that could cure a variety of ailments.

My fathers favourite was the Port wine derby cheese pictured above which has a lovely mottled look which both sage and port derby are easily recognised for …


Durum Wheat is popular wheat used to produce many foods like pasta, couscous, bulgur, noodles, and bread. ..Durum wheat is high in folate. Folate is a B vitamin that’s important during pregnancy. Folate is also known as folic acid when taken as a supplement or added to food.


This is a technique for anyone that’s a fan of meatloaf, sausage, meatballs, or almost any preparation for meat that involves it being ground. A traditional forcemeat, meat mousse, mousseline or farce, is a stuffing made of meat pureed with egg, bread, cream, or possibly all three, depending on who you ask. just be aware egg will expand when cooked and if the meat mixture is stuffed in something like ravioli, this expansion may cause it to explode…Oppps!


And I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread…William Shakespeare “Love’s Labours Lost”

I love gingerbread, gingernut biscuits…I love ginger…Gingerbread traditionally is dark and sticky with a prominent taste and smell of spices and ginger it is also used to make those beautiful gingerbread houses that are synonymous with Christmas.


There are around 200 different species of herring although it’s just three that are usually caught for food. They are Atlantic, Pacific and Araucanian herring. These specific species can be found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans…The herring is thought of as a healthy option in our diets as it has an abundance of vitamin D…My favourite way to eat herring is soused herrings … Soused herring is raw herring soaked in a mild preserving liquid. It can be raw herring in a mild vinegar pickle or Dutch brined herring. As well as vinegar, the marinade might contain cider, wine or tea, sugar, herbs (usually bay leaf), spices (usually mace), and chopped onion…very popular also in Scandanavian countries.


The original fast food…a form of preserving meat which goes back to the 1550s…Jerky allowed people to be able to store meat and then consume a high protein source when food was scarce. The early pioneers and cowboys came to rely on jerky as the main staple of their diet. Soon, various spices were added to enhance the flavours. Today, many flavours, meats and styles of jerky are produced for one of the world’s most popular snacks.


There are many theories surrounding the origins of this ghee based mild stew cooked using cream, yoghurt, ground almonds, saffron and aromatic spices…Korma literally means braising the meat, and the method for cooking Korma was initial braising of meat in ghee (clarified butter), yoghurt and spices and then simmering it in water until completion; blanched and finely ground nuts were also used as thickening agents…


There’s a big difference between sweet, smoked, and hot paprika.

Sweet Paprika...typically just labelled as paprika, this spice adds vibrant colour to any dish. It can be sprinkled as a garnish over deviled eggs or potato salad, or used as a flavouring for meat rubs. It has a sweet pepper flavour, without any heat.

Hot Paprika…hot paprika is the Hungarian variety of paprika, and is generally accepted as superior to the rest…. In Hungarian cuisine, paprika is used as a primary flavouring method, instead of simply adding colour to a dish. It is most commonly found in classic dishes like Goulash, a stew made from red meat. onions, potatoes, and vegetables, and served over egg noodles, and the creamy Paprikash, a similar stew that uses lighter meats and sour cream. 

This version adds a peppery, spicy kick to any dish.

Smoked Paprika…smoked paprika, often called pimenton or smoked Spanish paprika, is made from peppers that are smoked and dried over oak fires. This process gives the red powder a rich, smoky flavour. You can find this smoked variety in mild, medium-hot, and hot. True Spanish pimenton is produced using traditional techniques and comes from specific areas in Spain, as per the European Union’s laws. 


I know Perch from my childhood as a freshwater fish…however it seems to be a true perch it must belong to the family Percidae. … my mother just cooked perch fillets in brown butter and served them with brown bread and lemon wedges.


Said to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet…they contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, unrivalled by other foods… it’s those dang pits though, isn’t it? …My favourite is pomegranate molasses…

The arils can be tossed in a salad or make a lovely garnish with duck there are so many ways you can incorporate them into your diet or just get stuck into that fruit and eat…


A partridge is a medium-sized game bird…native to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East…They nest on the ground and have a diet consisting of seeds, grapes and insects…this seasonal game bird is normally served whole…normally it would be one bird per person. Partridge season in the UK is September 1st to February 1st and was normally a bird my mother cooked around the Christmas period…which also brings to mind the Christmas song ” A Partridge in a Pear Tree”


Pureed food should be the consistency of baby food, “spoon thick.” Cut food into small pieces and place in blender or food processor. Add liquid (broth or gravy ) Puree until smooth.

Vegetables that are great to puree: sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, and cauliflower. Vegetables to avoid pureeing: Fibrous green vegetables like broccoli, and veggies with shell-like peas—tend to leave strings and pieces that won’t puree.

Also, rice, oats, pasta almost anything soft and not fibrous can be pureed…Pureed food is good for babies, elderly/sick patients or someone on a specialised diet…

Hummus and other dips are also pureed…Creamy purees of vegetables are also used in restaurants or as a side to a meal…


That is where our sugar comes from…However, Sugarcane is a water-intensive crop that remains in the soil all year long. As one of the world’s thirstiest crops, sugarcane has a significant impact on many environmentally sensitive regions, like the Mekong Delta and the Atlantic Forest. Historic planting of sugarcane around the world has led to significant impacts on biodiversity.

A vast global market for sugarcane derivatives keeps the industry booming. Sugar is prevalent in the modern diet and is increasingly a source of biofuels and bioplastics. As prices of petroleum rise, there is a growing market for ethanol from sugarcane.


Another childhood memory…my mum’s hotpot was made using scrag of lamb…The scrag or scrag end is an inexpensive cut of lamb from the neck. It contains a lot of bone and is best used in casseroles, soups and stews…so wonderfully tasting and melt in the mouth soft when slowly cooked …


In cooking, a syrup is a condiment that is a thick, viscous liquid consisting primarily of a solution of sugar in water, containing a large number of dissolved sugars but showing little tendency to deposit crystals. Its consistency is similar to that of molasses.

Tursu…I love pickled vegetables and pickle almost everything…

Thank you for joining me today R was much easier than Q and I have saved quite a few for Pete Springer who always contributes…Thank you, Pete, and thank you for your kind message it is much appreciated x

For those of you who know about Lauren she has had her second round of chemo but also has the start of a chest infection the results of which didn’t get picked in time before she had the chemo…we also had a second round of bad news and that is that my eldest daughter who is a cancer survivor of 18 years has now been diagnosed with cancer again…her operation is scheduled for the 11th Nov so if I haven’t been as present on your blogs it is because I have been knocked for six and am still reeling and trying to make sense of all this …Thank you for the kind messages of support…Cancer sucks x





Healthy Eating…..Just Pickled!

Oh my, have I been busy pickling this week.?

I have pickled cucumbers ( 2 ways), jalapenos, garlic and cabbage.

Pickled Cucumbers:


I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

  •  4 cucumbers peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 large Onion peeled and sliced.
  • 3 cups of vinegar.
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.
  • 1 cup of water.

Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

If you missed my previous pickled cucumber recipe then here it is 🙂

Pickled Dill cucumbers. 

  • 3 medium cucumber
  • 1 large Onion thinly sliced.
  • 85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing …How lovely was that?  It really made my day…

Pickled Garlic:

Pickled Garlic

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled jalapenos:

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chillies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.


  • 10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.
  • 1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.
  • 3/4 cup of water.
  • 3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  • 3 tbsp white sugar.
  • 1 tbsp salt.
  • 1 clove garlic crushed.
  • 1/2 tsp oregano.

Let’s Pickle:

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil.

Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Allow cooling for about 10 minutes.

Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilised jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in sterilised storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)


  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • Coarse Salt.

Let’s Pickle:

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!


All images are mine and from my own photo collection.

I do hope you enjoyed this pickle of a post…it reminds me of the song of Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers..try saying that quickly…lol

Also when I was a little girl…I am not telling how many years ago…My nan used to give me the liquid from the greens when she cooked them…although I will say they massacred them then..no lightly steamed veg then it was cooked for at least an hour and she added vinegar to the green juice…It was such a treat though I loved it!

Can anyone else remember that?

If you enjoy my posts then please share or reblog it makes this whimsical English lady very happy and if you comment I will always reply back..I love comments and making new friends and exchanging recipes and tips…I love it!

So enjoy those pickles..always in moderation of course as vinegar is a fermented food, so if you suffer from gout be careful as too much will aggravate your condition otherwise the vinegar in pickle juice is actually good for the digestive system. “It encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”

You didn’t think you were going to get away without a little bit of a Healthy Eating Talk, did you?

I am sure or I know there are lots of other benefits of pickles and a few downsides and all that is for another time and post just enjoy those pickles in moderation as with everything.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine you know…Happy endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which in turn make you feel relaxed.

Love you all…..