Are you watching Portlandia? If you aren't, please consider it. It's hysterical and weird and smart and they are no doubt making as much fun of you as they are of me. I find myself laughing at them and realizing at the same time that I've said/done/thought the exact same thing with equal vehemence and far less self-awareness. It's a good thing (she says desperately)!
Anyway--if you are watching it--once again I am laughing at myself but only after realizing which particular cultural kool-aid I had sipped. In this case--the pickling phenomenon. (It's a really funny sketch, btw.) I don't love pickles in general because I'm a little creeped out by soggy vegetables. But obviously its popular, and healthy, and a great way to use vegetables you bought but won't be able to eat in time. However, the true story is that the other day we went out to lunch and on Mr. Wood's plate were some really pretty pickled carrots and that's why I wanted to make them. Because they were pretty.
Sometimes when I am having a hard-ish time or feeling a little blue, I get up in the kitchen and have at it. If I was feeling cute, I might call it Kitchen Therapy. Either way I am having such a time and yesterday I got down and dirty in there and made 5 quarts of vegetable stock to freeze (riffing wildly off this recipe), a huge pot of black eyed peas (also to freeze after using them in tacos for last night's dinner), a pint of Ginger Miso Dressing to use over steamed greens and salads, grinding up flax and chia seeds, made these carrots, and also raw pickled ginger for sushi this week. Exercised some demons and a full freezer to boot!
For the carrots, I ended up using this recipe as a base and omitted the anise and dill seeds and instead added peppercorns and whole hot chilis and more garlic than he used. Only two days into the pickling process and they are YUMMY. And an excellent little plate accessory. I like that they have a little crunch still.
And yes, they are also very pretty :)