These quick pickles take only as long as boiling water and slicing a few veggies. ~ by Serena Ball, MS, RD
Once upon a time on a picnic, my mom forgot the chocolate for s’mores… and from that time on, there was a laminated checklist on the inside of our cupboard door that looked like this:
- Hot dogs & buns
- Canned pork & beans
- Marshmallows & graham crackers & CHOCOLATE!
- Roasting sticks, plates, water, matches, newspaper
The point of this list is not to tell about my mother, the chocoholic, but actually to kick off PICNIC WEEK here on TeaspoonOfSpice.com. This week, we’re sharing picnic recipes and tips on planning that perfect picnic for the park, beach or where ever the summer weather takes you.
Tip #1: Make a laminated Picnic Basics checklist
I have planned and carried out probably 101 picnics in my life (more than half as a mom – but there was also that Easter picnic I planned for friends when I was wooing my husband… Have you ever tried to fit an Easter ham into a picnic basket?)
These days, my laminated How to Pack a Picnic (which I have taped inside my cupboard) looks more like this:
- Bean Salad (Because they’re so easy to throw together with any veggie on-hand + 1 can of beans.)
- Peanuts in Shell (while waiting for the picnic to be served, kids can eat and toss the shells on the ground – thrilling if you’re 4!)
- Dessert or s’mores
- Water jug with plastic reusable cups
- Napkins, spoons, wet wipes & PLATES!!
(Can you tell what I’ve often forgetten? More than once my kids have eaten bean salad out of their drinking cups and then complained their water tasted like bean “juice”!)
Tip #2 – Pack the Pickles
Yes, pickles: We can’t have a picnic without pickles. Usually I make a variation of these quick radish pickles. Just make a simple pickle brine with a ratio of 1:1 water to rice vinegar (Use rice vinegar because it’s a little less acidic for kids’ tastes) and 1:3 salt to sugar. Then, add ANY spice in your spice drawer. Hey, make it an experiment…if it doesn’t work, all you’re out is the time it takes to boil water and a bit of salt, sugar and vinegar. In the following recipe, I used a bit of fenugreek seed that was collecting dusk in my spice drawer – just to see what the perplexing spice tasted like – but you could easily use coriander seeds or even sesame seeds or another spice.
And sometimes, there’s no time even to boil pickle brine – so come back tomorrow for my recipe for even quicker Quick Pickles. (I promise this will be a true ‘Ah-ha’ recipe!)
Have you ever made quick pickles?