These days, the kids are pickling everything. Every single blessed thing! They’re pickling the vegetables, they’re pickling the eggs. They’re even pickling the livers, I tell you. Nothing is safe from this pickling craze. Just about everything is in brine all willy nilly.
Actually, pickles are genius for people keeping a tight larder. Buy too many carrots? Bored of broccoli? Have no idea what to do with a quickly turning pineapple? Pickle it! Just about anything can be pickled under the right conditions. Pickling maximizes volume while minimizing waste in the kitchen the most delicious way possible. They also just look neat sitting there on your counter, slowly brining away, like your taste buds have arrived and are simply waiting for the right occasion.
I had this problem earlier this week with some grapes. I’m on the fence with those little purple orbs, occasionally wanting a handful of them but rarely more than that. However, my local grocery store only offers them in wholesale superstore size plastic wrapped packages and I was hungry, so I was stuck with a pallet of them in my fridge. Seeing that my ill chosen impulse buy was starting to wither the other morning, I quickly whipped up a brine and joined the kids on this pickle trend.
-1 quart white vinegar
-3 cups sugar
-1 tablespoon whole cardamom pods
-1 tablespoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon mace
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-3-4 cups red grapes
1. Pick all the grapes from the stem, sorting out any withered or spoiled fruit. Wash the remaining grapes.
2. In a saucepot, combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Turn the heat on medium and stir everything until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
3. Meanwhile, put the washed grapes into a large container with a little room to spare. (Canning jars work great for this!)
4. When the brine comes to a boil, turn off the heat and pour it over the grapes until they are completely submerged.
5. Weight the grapes down with a layer of parchment paper. Set them somewhere attractive, like a windowsill, because they’ll be there awhile.
6. Let the grapes sit there at least a day before refrigerating. Keeps in the cold for up to 1 month.