Gluten Free Girl hosted a Pie Party where everybody (1500 people at least) across the internet and beyond made pies on the same day. Some were gluten free, some were other-allergy-free, and some were just plain happy pie! It was such a success that Gluten Free Girl decided to have another party this month called the ‘Pickling Party’. Similar rules to the pie party: you have to pickle something on Wednesday August 10th 2011 between 9am-noon and it has to be yes, well, pickled.. thats it really (I love simple rules!)
I am not supposed to be taking any vinegar at the moment but I really wanted to take part in the pickling party so I got out my trusty Darina Allen ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’ cookbook because it was sure to have a pickling section and found a super recipe for Pickled Peaches which pickles them in a sugar syrup. The peaches are intended to complement savoury dishes such as:
- Glazed Ham
... and I’m sure with a bit of creative thinking there could be happy accompaniments for vegetarian and vegan dishes too!
The great thing is that the recipe is naturally 1) Vinegar free and 2) Free from most all the big food allergens. It is also left wide open for alterations, substitutions and creativity.
Note: If you are allergic or intolerant to vinegar you can pickle particularly moist foods with salt/brine. Umeboshi Plums (pictured above) are a traditional Japanese ‘dessert’ which is free from vinegar, using a salt based solution for the pickling (it also alkalizes your system almost immediately). Also in vinegar and pickling news, I recently came across Clearsping Ume Plum Seasoning (in the Asia Market, Drury St, Dublin 2) which is from the Umeboshi Plum pickling process and is an alternative to Vinegar. Ingredients: Ume plums (83%) Sea Salt, Red Shiso (perilla) leaves.
I seriously can’t wait to try some Ume Plum Seasoning on some chips (the french fried kind) because I was/am/always will be a SERIOUS vinegar lover.. I mean, my mouth is literally salivating just writing this! ... so a substitute for vinegar on my chips would be the next best thing to heaven!
1 pint (600ml) cold stock syrup (1lb sugar boiled for 2 minutes in 1pint water)
1 cinnamon stick
1 chilli, halved & seeded (I used 3 tiny ones for extra pizazz!)
1" piece of fresh ginger sliced
2 slices lemon
10 peaches (peeled and sliced)
Bring all the ingredients to a boil on the stovetop, cover and put into the preheated oven (usr an oven-proff dish!) for 20 minutes.
Remove the chilli, cinnamon stick and lemon slices
Fill into sterilized jars.
It was SO easy! AND it made me feel like a 1950s domestic goddess-in-training! :D
My other faux pas was with the peaches themselves. I had been thoroughly enjoying my cheap and really tasty peaches from Lidl for a few weeks now. They were so fresh and ripe and affordable that a girl couldn’t ask for more fruit-wise but when I was in town jar hunting I happened upon an organic fruit and vegetable stand. They had a peach cut for tasting and it was delicious so I decided to take a seemingly not-so chancy chance and splurge on 10 organic peaches to ensure that my pickling project came up trumps - right.
The peaches cost me over €6 and to my disgust, half of them were resident of yuck-ville! Some were lovely like the one I tasted but I had to throw 3 or 4 of them away because of that horrible yuck texture that peaches can so often have. Perhaps it wouldn’t have made a huge impact since pickling was traditionally reserved for the falloff but I was thoroughly disappointed and so ended up with only two jars of pickled peaches in the end.
Anywho, it was still so much fun and I can’t wait to make presents of the results!
The cookbook I used was this one:
Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen