Raise Your Hand if You Remember Pickled Eggs

Jane McLaughlin's pickled eggs

Jane McLaughlin’s pickled eggs

Pickled eggs can be traced back to a time when there was no refrigeration and eggs were preserved in vinegar brine. Although I didn’t live in the no-fridge era my mom made them and they were always a mainstay of dad’s 1950s-style smorgasbord restaurants.

Have you seen them lately? Probably not because they’ve fallen off the culinary map. Even the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, the red-and-white plaid standard for home cooks, has dropped the recipes for pickled beets and pickled eggs from its pages. I found this out when I went searching for the recipe in my newer copy.

There are some of us who not only like to preserve the eggs, but also the past. My sister Jane is one of those so she made some for Easter. Knowing they are loaded with nostalgia and taste, she said, “Look Barb, I made pickled eggs!”

My husband Bill said, “Oh yeah, good old bar food.”

“Huh?” my sister and I replied.

“Yes,” Hank Deitle’s Tavern on Rockville Pike [Maryland] had jars of them. That’s all they served — pickled eggs, bags of chips and beer. Then he added some advice, “Jane, you should have them in your restaurants at the bar.”

She dismissed the idea but she might reconsider when she hears this. It turns out Bill’s advice has merit. In England, pickled eggs, onions and beets were considered a working man’s food and gained popularity in pubs where the eggs tasted good with a pint of ale.  In the United States, just like Hank Deitle’s, a jar of pickled eggs were a permanent fixture on the bar.

It seems my sister and I haven’t been in enough bars to know about this but maybe she will bring the old times back in Bonefish Mac’s – a chain of restaurants in south Florida she owns with her husband Chuck. At least the old coots will appreciate them and maybe the egg jar fixture will breed a new generation of pickled egg lovers.

And by the way, Hank Deitle’s, since 1916, is still there. It’s not much to look at stuck in between luxury condos and new office buildings, but it remains a no-frills beer bar, cash only. Bill remembers his dad stopping off for a quick one while he left the 11 kids in the big station wagon to hoop and holler and make their own good times.

Jane’s recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book that she got for a wedding present when she and Chuck married in 1973. She says about the grease-stained, dog-eared book, “I still love it! The new one can’t compare!”

Rosy Pickled Eggs

From Better Homes and Garden’s New Cook Book, 1972, Fifth Printing

  • 1 cup juice from jar of pickled beets
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (sometimes I use garlic salt and omit the garlic clove)
  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, cooled and shelled
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings

Combine beet juice, vinegar, four cups water, garlic, bay leaf, pickling spices, and salt. Mix well. Put into a covered container and add eggs and onions. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several days. The longer they sit, the rosier and better they get.

Hospitality…Naturally!

A spring time hike is like none other. The trees and bushes are starting to bud – enough to show new greens, pinks and yellows, yet you can still see through the trees to the meadow, the old road beds, and the river. Last Saturday we hiked along the Potomac Heritage Trail in Northern Virginia along the paths where George Washington traveled.

Nature welcomed us with open arms and spread a feast before us. The ground, softened from winter, was fresh with wildflower shoots and Virginia Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). There was a buffet of bluebells all along our path—luscious, as-far-as-the-eye-can-see bluebells.

I was captivated. Nature set its table for us. Now, that’s hospitality.

Jam and Cheese

Keep the ingredients on hand for a quick and easy appetizer. You can substitute another soft cheese like goat cheese or cream cheese, depending on your taste and what you have on hand. In winter, use pecans. These morsels of good will get big YUMS and an A+ in Hospitality.

Jam and Cheese Appetizers

  • Filo dough shells (These are mini shells about 2 inches in diameter and can be found in your grocer’s freezer, usually one dozen to a pack.)
  • 1/2 pound Brie cheese (do not remove the rind)
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Thaw filo cups for about ten minutes, and place on baking sheet.

Toast almonds by spreading them in an ungreased pan. Bake in a preheated 350⁰ oven for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until brown. Set aside.

Cut Brie into one-inch chunks and place one chunk into each filo shell. Do not remove the rind from the Brie as it gives the warm cheese a pungent flavor.

Top the cheese with a teaspoon of apricot jam, then top with slivered, toasted, almonds.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350⁰ or until bubbly. Serve immediately.

My recipe just appeared in the spring 2012 Celebrate Home Magazine. Download the magazine for free here:

 

Three Little Ingredients a Breakfast Does Make

Keep three things in your pantry — refrigerated crescent rolls in the pop-open can, raspberry preserves, and a Milky Way® Bar. If you do, you’ll always have a gooey and hot breakfast surprise for the family or overnight guests.

You can also substitute dark or white chocolate chips for the Milky Way®, but you won’t have that chewy caramel.

DIRECTIONS

  • Pop open the crescent rolls and separate according to the package directions. Spread each triangle of dough out on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Spread each triangle with a teaspoon or so of raspberry preserves. Coarsely chop the Milky Way® bar and put about a teaspoon on top of preserves.
  • Roll the triangles into a crescent roll according to package directions.
  • Brush each croissant with lightly beaten egg white to give it a nice glazed and browned look.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in a 375⁰oven. Serve hot.

Yield: 8 croissants.

FOR MORE EASY RECIPES USING JAM…AND EVEN A HOW-TO FOR MAKING JAM…

Download Celebrate Home Magazine free here:

 

Jam Session

Cooking with different flavors of jam is fun and tasty! We all have a jar of something in our pantry — jam, jelly, preserves, etc.

Check out the spring issue of Celebrate Home Magazine with easy recipes for:

  • Milky Way Croissants
  • Jam n’ Cheese Appetizers
  • Mornin’ Jam Muffins
  • Queen of Hearts Blueberry Tart
  • Rockfish with Southern Pecan Pepper Jelly

Download Celebrate Home Magazine free here:

 

 

Celebrate Home Magazine — Spring Issue in Bloom!

The spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine is now available for digital download in the links below. Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue.

This issue is jam-packed (and there’s even a jam-making feature!), so download today and get started reading.

On the cover: What says “spring” more than colorful tulips? Cindy Dyer, art director, was photographing this bed of flowers and was standing on the edge of the wall when this little girl, clad in a princess skirt with sparkly shoes, came running around the corner. Cindy snapped this one shot and the little princess was gone. Serendipity!

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks”… and grouper?


Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the park! Last week was the last week of the Grapefruit League’s spring training. Between February 22 and March 30, more than 1.6 million fans attended Major League Baseball’s annual off-seasons spring training in Florida at various locations throughout the Sunshine State.

We parked our seats in the seats at Space Coast Stadium in sunny Viera, Florida, where our Washington Nationals train. The training facility is intimate – so much so that you can hang out and chat with General Manager Mike Rizzo (yes, Bill did!) and ask players for autographs as they come out of the training facility (yes, Patrick did!).

While my husband and son were having their own fun I was studying the ballpark concession menus. There were the usual hot dogs, brats, hamburgers, pizza, etc. But, only in Florida would a grilled blackened grouper sandwich be on the menu. How could I resist? For only $9 I got a fresh piece of grilled grouper on a bun with hot fries.

Take me out to the ballgame…anytime and anywhere! Go Nats!