In My Kitchen, September 2013

I nearly choked when I saw how many months have passed since I did one of Celia’s In My Kitchen Posts! Since this happens to be a long weekend in the US, I’m making time to do one this month.

Here goes!

In my kitchen this summer, is an egg plate that holds 6 deviled eggs. I loved the small version. Now Robert and I can have deviled eggs without having to make a whole dozen just to fill up the plate. (Yeah, I’m obsessive like that) I think it’s funny how the depressions in the photo have the optical illusion of being convex rather than concave.

6-egg Egg Plate

I’ve been pickling up a storm this summer.

Vegetables ready to pickle!

Vegetables ready to pickle!

Pickling Cukes

Pickling Cucumbers

I hope we have enough to last us this  winter. I’ve made Sweet Pickle Chips, Half Sours, Dill Pickles, Pickled Cauliflower, Pickled Beets, Pickle Relish.

When I was done pickling, I made jams.

Simmering whole fig and lemon jam

Simmering whole fig and lemon jam

Blueberry, Lemon and Thyme, Strawberry Basil Balsamic and Whole Fig and Lemon.

Strawberries and basil

Strawberries and basil

Blueberry, Lemon and Thyme Jam

Blueberry, Lemon and Thyme Jam

These two were also in the jam batch: Peach, Pepper with Ginger, and Mint Jelly. I used natural pectin by using grated apple peel.

Grate apple peel for pectin

Grate apple peel for pectin

While the canner was out, and to take advantage of 4 gallons of boiling water, I also threw together a batch of Heirloom Tomato Salsa, Homemade Ketchup, and Dijon Style Mustard and our own processed Horseradish.

Horseradish Root

Horseradish Root. See the sprout on the end? It sprouted so now it’s growing in the garden. In a pot since I understand it spreads and is hard to control. I just cut the sprouted bit off, stuck it in some dirt and before too long it grew.

Processed Horseradish, for the perfect Bloody Mary!

Processed Horseradish, for the perfect Bloody Mary! I love horseradish on most any protein with a squirt of fresh lemon

Homemade Condiments

Homemade Condiments

The “PING!” of cooling jars seemed to be non-stop for several days.

Now I have to find somewhere to store all these jars!

I found this great bowl and sauce server in the cabbage Leaf patters by Majorca Ware; I just love it!

Cabbage Leaf bowl and Sauce Server

Cabbage Leaf bowl and Sauce Server

What’s happening in your kitchen?

Sweet Pickle Chips

Sweet Pickle Chips

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Chive Blossom Vinegar and Vinaigrette

Onion chive blossoms

Chive blossom vinegar isn’t a normal thing to be making in January, but my wish for chive blossoms was realized.

This winter had been on the warm side for us. It was just last night the geranium and the jalapeno plants bit the dust to freezing.

While making a salad for dinner the other evening, my thoughts turned to chive flowers and all the yummy things I could do with them.

I thought how nice it would be to have some chive blossoms to add to the salad, or sprinkle some over the baked potatoes.

I was thinking about making more chive blossom vinegar but alas, being January, my desire would have to wait until spring.

Chive blossoms have a delightful onion or garlic flavor, depending upon which type of chive you have. Onion chives have lovely purple flowers that I really like; garlic chives produce white flowers.

But look at what I found!

As I rounded the corner towards my office, right there in front of me was a lovely plot of blooming chives in the schools herb garden.

Yay! Wish granted!

( Now I wish for a million dollars)

I picked as many as I thought I needed and ran home to toss them into the evening salad and make some Chive Blossom Vinegar for salad dressings in about a month.

Chives are quite simple to grow and actually are perennial so they come back year after year. I have both garlic chives and onion chives growing in my garden. They definitely are not flowering now. In fact they look quite pathetic until a bit of warmth cradles them a bit.

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Prepare the blossoms 3 ways: with stem, no stem, single flowers

Use a funnel to fill the bottles

Chive Vinegar

Wash and dry the chive blossoms. Prepare the chive in any of the following ways:

  • Leave as much stem on as you want
  • Use only the tiny flowers
  • use the entire flower heads in tact; no stem
  • leave some stem with the flowers
  • chop some chives to add with the flowers
  • any combination you want

The goal is to make it look pretty and attractive.

  • Place prepared blossoms into an attractive bottle.
  • Boil enough white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar to fill the bottle.
  • Use a funnel to fill the bottle with the hot vinegar.
  • Cork or seal the bottle.
  • Label with the date you made the vinegar.
  • Let steep for 30 days.

After the flavor has developed, open the bottle and experience the fresh aroma of the chive blossom vinegar.

Use it to make a simple vinaigrette.

Chive blossoms on baked potato

Chive Blossom Vinaigrette over Tomato, Onion, Cucumber Salad

  • 1/2  cup chive blossom vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups of olive oil

Place all the ingredients but the oil into a bowl and whisk to combine.

Whisk in the oil and serve.

This is a temporary emulsion which means you will need to whisk it before using as it will separate.

Tomato, onion, cucumber salad with chive blossoms

Tomato, Onion, Cucumber Salad

Serves 2

  • 1 medium tomato, wedged into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced thin
  • Chive blossoms

Toss the sliced vegetables in a bowl and then arrange attractively on salad plates.

Sprinkle the chive blossoms on top

Drizzle Chive blossom vinaigrette over salad and serve.

To make this go over the top, drizzle a few drops of truffle oil over the salad too.