I love a good recipe. But what I love even more is a good recipe with a story. When you eat something and it reminds you of a person, an event, or an emotion you experienced. I have some recipes that remind me of my grandmother. Others that make me flashback to my childhood.
Pickled eggs make me think of Aunt Dottie. She is not actually my aunt, she belongs to my boyfriend. I met her for the first time last summer on the Fourth of July. We went up to her vacation home/hunting cabin up in the mountains. I had never met any of that side of the family. I was pretty nervous, but she put me at ease. It wasn't even anything she did especially. In fact, she called me Teresa for about an hour. I'm not sure why I connected with her. She is an older woman, kind of reminded me of my grandmother. Somehow we got on the topic of pickled eggs. I can't remember if we were looking for a recipe or if someone else brought it up. Of course I didn't write the recipe down (why in the world would I do that?) so a couple days later, we called her and got it again. I made it that week, and have been hooked ever since. Aunt Dottie's recipe is now taped to the inside of the door of the cabinet where I keep my spices.
The best part of a recipe with a story is being able to share it. I want to share my stories with my kids. Maybe they will become their stories too as they get older. For now, I will share my recipe with you!
Aunt Dottie's Pickled Eggs
(I had to check to make sure this wasn't some top secret family recipe that I was outing before I posted this. As far as I know, we are good to go)
2-3 jars of pickled beets (I use Greenwood's)
1. Hard boil eggs. (Okay so confession... I still have to Google "how to hard boil eggs" every time I make these. I am not stupid in the kitchen by far but the fact that I can't seem to remember one of the most basic kitchen skills makes me question my cooking aptitude).
2. Strain liquid from jars of beets into a measuring cup. Place the beets into whatever container you are using. I use a gallon glass pickle jar. I would suggest using glass, since with the beet juice, plastic would stain. And isn't glass always better anyways?
3. Measure beet juice. Add to a saucepan. Add the same amount of sugar and vinegar as there was beet juice. So if you have 1 1/2 cups beet juice then add 1 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 1/2 cup sugar. Add 2-4 cinnamon sticks to saucepan. Add some whole cloves. Aunt Dottie said a handful of cloves. I usually just pour some out of the container into my palm and dump it in.
4. Bring liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and let sit for a little bit to cool. Strain cinnamon sticks and cloves before putting the liquid into your container.
5. Add eggs to the container. I usually try to get the eggs completely covered by the liquid and the beets so all parts of them pickle.
So if you get past step #5, you are at the hard part... Waiting! Ugh, after making them, I just want to eat one. But fight the urge and stick them in the back of your fridge for a few days. I can usually make it about 2 days before I have to have one. However tonight after posting this, I am now really craving them again...