Sunday, November 30, 2008

And Then We Came to the End

Long weekends are the best. I'll take a long weekend over just about any perk that an employer has to offer.*

I love the feeling that I get when I crack an eyelid open just after dawn and realize that even though I've already had two days off, the weekend is not over yet. After a little rush of giddiness, I snuggle down under the covers and snooze for another few hours, dreaming some not-quite-asleep-not-quite-awake dreams as the light gets warmer and brighter on the wall over the foot of our bed.

After all of the cookery that went on last week, I am not in the mood to mess around in the kitchen. I'm going to order sushi take-out tonight and enjoy the last dregs of my long weekend in front of the television with my husband.

Good thing that I have some homemade miso-mustard pickles in the fridge to tide me over until dinner. Hope you guys like pickles.
Miso-Mustard Pickles
Adapted from this Tia Keenan recipe in Food and Wine Magazine

These pickles are salty and savory, not sweet. I despise sweet pickles. You won't find a recipe for sweet pickles on this blog, ever.

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon miso paste (Tia's recipe calls for white miso paste; I used dark)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns (I used a pretty mix of black, white, and pink peppercorns)
2 bay leaves
1 cucumber, sliced into 10-12 spears (you may want to consider using an English cucumber, which is unwaxed. English cucumbers are the ones wrapped in plastic sleeves)

In a large saucepan, combine the red wine vinegar, water, rice vinegar, sugar, mustard, miso, horseradish, peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Pack the cucumber spears a quart jar. Pour the pickling liquid over to cover the cucumbers. Close the jar and refrigerate the pickles for 2 days before serving.

Makes 10-12 pickle spears

*cash bonuses not included.

The title of this post was borrowed from Joshua Ferris' 2007 bestselling novel of the same name.


Foodycat said...

Those pickles sound superb! I do love a long weekend, too. In the UK there is a very long time between the last long weekend (August) and Christmas!

white on rice couple said...

Wow, miso mustard pickles? These look fabulous and are right up my alley! anything with miso paste and fabulous!
Glad you had a good relaxing weekend!

Julie said...

The title of this post caught my eye b/c I just started reading that book the other week...couldn't get into it though, and decided not to commit for the next 300 pages. I bookmarked your spinach recipe from the earlier post. It sounds so good!!

marilyn @ simmer till done said...

I am all for last dregs, a little TV and miso-mustard pickles. Lovely, and delicious!

Sarah said...

Foodycat: Stateside, we have a very long stretch without a long weekend between late January and late May. I think that one of the reasons I love autumn and winter so much is that we have multiple long weekends between September 1 and December 31!

White on Rice Couple: Hi guys, thank you for stopping by! Hope you had a nice long weekend too, and you should give the pickles a try; the taste of the mustard and miso is really wonderful.

Julie: It took me about 30 pages to get into the whole "collective voice/Greek chorus" narrative. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorites. So glad you bookmarked the spinach; it really is one of my all-time favorite dishes!

Marilyn: Thank you! They are quite tasty, particularly when you just want a little something to snack on.