Wednesday, February 24, 2016

{Foodie Post No.3} Hot and Spicy Pickled Eggs

One of my Monday projects was to start a batch of pickled eggs and I am happy to report that it was checked off my to-do list by noon!
This is my mother-in-law's recipe and it is the only way I have found that I truly enjoy boiled eggs. Egg salad is tolerable, deviled eggs must be named based on their near-kin the devil himself, and boiled eggs themselves are only edible with unreasonable amounts of salt and pepper or chopped up on a cob salad. These pickled eggs however I find to be quite yummy. And please, don't write them off as nasty if the only other pickled eggs you've had are the purplish pink dirt flavored beet variety. These are completely different. Give them a chance! And give them to me if you made them and weren't satisfied ;)

Hot and Spicy Pickled Eggs

brine ingredients 

boiled and peeled eggs (I forgot to poke them with a fork so after taking this picture I dumped them out and poked then re packed!
boiled brine
the final product, ready for two weeks in the 'fridge
Let me know if you give this recipe a try and what you thought of them if you do! :)
Enjoy! ~Haley

Hot and Spicy Pickled Eggs
About 12 hard-cooked boiled eggs(to fill a quart jar), peeled
2 tablespoons pickling salt (I used regular sea salt)
6 fresh or pickled green hot peppers, such as a serrano, slit lengthwise (I used pickled, sliced jalapeno's, because that's what I had!)
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1/2 water
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon whole black mustard seeds (I used regular yellow mustard seeds because, again, that's what I had)
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1. With a fork, pierce each egg through six times into the yolk. Put eggs into a quart jar. In a nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Bring them to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the contents for 15 minutes. Let the liquid cool.

2. Pour the spiced vinegar over the eggs. Cap the jar and refrigerate the jar for at least a week to allow the eggs to absorb the flavorings.

3. Refrigerated, the eggs will keep for several weeks.

I boiled 18 eggs and 1 and a halved this recipe; in the end I think one recipe's worth of brine would have been enough as I had a cup left over. Probably all depends on how packed the eggs are and what size jar you use.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Rise and Shine

Mornings. I used to love mornings. I was in every possible way a morning person. I have so many memories of starting my day throughout my twenty-one years of life.

I was a morning person even before I do remember. From my toddler years when my mother would wake up to my pajama clad self whispering "Mommy can I have opieloap (oatmeal) for breakfast?" to elementary grade home-schooler me who would set my alarm for 4:30 and hover in the bathroom under a nightlight with my school books spread before me. The goal was to be finished with school and downstairs sitting in front of our dining room picture window in time to watch the sun rise. The rest of the day would then be free to enjoy. 
I have fond memories of joining daddy in the garage at six-thirty every weekday morning where we would stretch, lift weights, norditract, and jump rope. 
There was a time when I was focused on extreme responsibility and before anyone else awoke I could be found in the kitchen washing dishes from the night before, fixing breakfast for my siblings, and then cleaning the kitchen again. 
That morphed into a season when I slacked off on the responsibility side of things and simply spent an hour every morning reading, writing, and in prayer with my cup of tea or coffee within reach. 
In more recent years I would get up and join mommy in listening to Greg Laurie as she fixed breakfast burritos for Daniel before she left to take him to work. I would eat the left overs, finish listening, then set out breakfast for my siblings before waking them up.

Mornings, oh how I loved mornings.

And then,


Marriage killed my mornings. 
Somehow, on that glorious day of April 5th, as Wesley and I exchanged our vows and entered a lifetime commitment to and with one another, after nineteen years of morning love, every thing changed. The very first morning I woke up in our new home, our honey-moon over, I had no desire to start my day. 

I think it comes from being a lone-creature-of-habit. Sure, my morning routine's had changed over the years as life changed around me but marriage threw an entirely foreign change in; another person. My family had been worked into my routines slowly over the years and out of practicality but living twenty-four seven with a person, sharing my mornings, had never been a part of the picture. 

I love Wesley. I would love to love sharing my mornings with him. But, so far in our close to two years of marriage I have not found a way to do so. 
In the beginning I would get up and pack his lunch and fix him breakfast but it was never my routine. I was fixing his breakfast and packing his lunch. 
I was up for him.
The start of my morning wasn't mine. 

Time went by and I was sick with pregnancy and I quit getting up all together. Months went by and I went back to trying. An alarm would go off, I'd get out of bed and again try packing his lunch. After he left I would try staying up and drinking a cup of tea, reading, and eventually I would fall back asleep in an early morning nap. So I quit getting up with him again; why get up and "start my day" when I fall back asleep mid morning?

As time goes by I miss my mornings more and more. So again, I'm going to try. This time around though I am going to once again try and make my mornings mine. When Wesley's alarm goes off I will try to get up and spend some time alone. While he is getting ready for work I will drink some tea, maybe write in my journal, and wake up. Then I hope together we can fix his lunch, have breakfast, and read our Bible's. Once he has left for work hopefully I will be able to stay awake and start in on projects, perhaps get some time in on the never ending braided rug. 

Wesley spent a week out of town for work recently and that week I was able to start my mornings early and end my days each night feeling successful. That was one of the hardest parts of having him gone; realizing my mornings worked better with out him. 
So I plan to change that. Whether he is in town working here at his store, or away, I am going to love mornings again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chocolates and Roses

Valentines Day. It is the epitome of 'Hallmark Holiday's', millions are made by convincing people that expensive chocolates, roses, cards and nearly anything market-able in reds and blacks are what love means.
Growing up I never paid any attention to the day, my parents never did anything elaborate, February 14th really wasn't a day on my radar as something special; February 15th? Now that is a different story... the day those expensive chocolates went on sale was a day worth celebrating ;)

Things have changed just a bit in the past few years though. I now find that I have fallen prey to the marketing schemes set before me. Walking through walmart as soon as the Christmas decorations were packed away replaced by giant red hearts and all manner of valentiney-ness. It's a marketable day, who doesn't adore the idea of celebrating love and all of its glory? It gets us all.

I don't put a whole lot of stock into the day, I know it's just a money making fest, but I can't help but join in the celebration of showing my people I love them. Wesley is a man with a great big generous heart and much as I insist not to worry about going out of his way or spending too much on me it didn't surprise me a bit when he presented me with a pound of Fannie May chocolates. Then when he notified me that two dozen long stem roses had been delivered to the door while we were shopping I grinned and shook my head; of course he wouldn't let a pound of chocolate be the only way he showed me our love is worth celebrating on this valentines weekend. In the end not only were chocolate and roses bestowed upon me but trips to two different Goodwills in two days, grocery shopping together, trying out a new wine, cooking two dinners together, cleaning the kitchen together, breakfast out Sunday before church, picking out chocolates to pass out to our sisters, and just spending the whole weekend by one another's side with Jerusha in one of our arms or close by. Wesley also stopped at the very busy local Starbucks after church in order to secure a 'Molten Lava Mocha-something-or-other' for me. I had seen it advertised and the last day to get one was the fourteenth.. and I'm pregnant guys, I needed that chocolatey whipped cream on top of chocolatey coffee. It did not disappoint. Possibly the best thing I've ever had from Starbucks. It is probably a good thing it was only a two week special..
Wesley was the recipient of a "movie night" box containing popping corn, peanut M&M's, Hot Tamale's, Junior Mints, and glass bottled coke which we enjoyed together while watching season two of the Office. It was an evening full of memories such as a $1 box of theater style microwavable popcorn that burned in the middle while still popping the edges followed up by my popping popped corn the good old fashioned way; in a whirly pop.

Well, I had more thoughts to share (I thought) but Wesley got home from work and I need to go ready myself for a group date we're going on with his parents and all the local married siblings.

(Posted a day later than planned)
My roses and chocolates

after math of 'movie night'... popcorn and M&M's are long gone..

We got Jerusha this adorably cuddly giant elephant and Saturday morning Wesley got her this wiry plush rose :)
Blurry but too cute not to share.