Monday, July 26, 2010

Lavender Destiny

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…


Noah Iliinsky said...

I've often said you could run a business in Seattle making lavender and rosemary products, and get all of your raw materials out of people's yards. And they'd *thank* you for taking it away.

Hope to taste these pickles!

pleasantcompany said...

It's true, lavender and rosemary may be seattle's unsung bounty. Maybe rosemary blackberry jam is next......

Kathryn said...

Doesn't matter how these pickles taste, just looking at them is delicious enough.

pleasantcompany said...

Welcome home, Kathryn.
The pickles turned out really well. Very lavendery.