I had been dreaming about the lavender apricot pickles from Poppy since Thursday night, and it was Sunday. There was no shaking them. I walked out of the house thinking, who do I know that has lavender in their yard? It seemed silly to buy lavender because it’s growing everywhere in Seattle right now, and I didn’t feel good about snatching it without permission (though I’ll admit, it did cross my mind.)
I rounded the corner, less than a block from my front door, and there was a man shoving an old lavender plant on to his yard waste bin. I am not much for fate or destiny, but it seemed pretty clear that Sunday was the day to make the apricot pickles. It was my lavender destiny. I tore off a handful (with permission) and headed to the farmers market for apricots.
I am pretty sure that Poppy’s pickles were quick pickles, and I wanted something to last in the cupboard. I also wanted to up the savory quotient a bit, so I added more vinegar and salt than I think they used. I am not going to give you the recipe here because I haven’t tasted them yet. Maybe they're horrible, or totally unlavendary. They’re still pickling, but they've already started looking lovely and making me smile.
I will, however, share my favorite recipe for sweet pickle brine. Most often, I prefer an unsweetened pickle. But some treats—like spicy onions and lavender apricots—call for a sweeter brine like this one.
Sweet Pickle Brine
Adapted from the Pickled Cauliflower recipe in Eugenia Bone’s Well Preserved
4 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
3T canning salt
Something special: lavender, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, garlic…