Okay, I'm giggling this morning. A friend of mine posted a recipe on her blog for 'stove top meatloaf." It was a great idea. You just make your regular meat loaf recipe, but instead of putting it in a pan and roasting it, you flatten it out to almost a hamburger thickness and then cook it slowly in a skillet! Is that fantastic or what. For those of us that cook for one or two people it saves those couple hours of hot oven. And besides, when I was working all day, no matter how much I wanted meat loaf, even if I remembered to make it early in the morning, (yeah, like that happened when the moon turned blue!) I didn't feel like cooking it at five o'clock in the afternoon. This way you can make as much as you want and cook it on top of the stove in two jiffies!
That got me started thinking. My son-in-law loves boiled eggs pickled in beet juice. I love pickled beets. Now my mom used to make the best pickled beets in the world, but it took ALL DAY and required a garden row of beets and skinning and quartering and boiling vinegar and spices and sugar and packing them in jars and then cold packing again to seal the pints. A lot of work. And she always had a garden to produce the beets. I don't have a garden so I don't have beets. Or fresh tomatoes. Or corn. Or cucumbers. Or string beans. Or fresh lettuce. Or green onions. Or peas. sigh*****
So how to get pickled beets without all that work-that was my dilemna. I rolled it around in my brain probably for years and one day inspiration hit. You know those bread and butter pickles you get at Krogers, or Stop n Shop or where ever you buy your groceries. You eat all the pickles and pour out the juice.... I mean, what else can you do with it. My inspiration was to make pickled beets with it!
When the pickles are gone put the jar of pickling solution back in the fridge until you get a can of beets. The sliced kind work best, but the little baby whole beets work too. When you open the can pour about 3/4 of the beet juice off and then pour the beets and remaining juice in the pickle jar with the pickling solution. Put the lid back on and park it in the fridge for a couple days. Voila! A jar of pickled beets my mom wouldn't be able to tell from her own. (Well, maybe if I forgot to peel the bread-n-butter pickle label off she could guess...)
I made pickled beets this way all the time I was living alone in Dover. When I moved here with R&M I kinda forgot about it.
Since I started getting up and making sure Michael had hot coffee and something hot for breakfast, I've also been packing his lunch.... hmm. (Well, phooey. He'd been packing his own. What man packs a decent lunch? Ho-ho's, cold French fries and bag of cheetos..oh yeah.) Oh well. Anyway. Last week we ran short of 'extras' for his lunch. We had sandwich materials, but that's not much for a guy who works with iron all day. Then I remembered the pickled beets and eggs!
As luck would have it we had a jar of bread-n-butter pickles that was almost empty. Problem solved. I made sure we had the pickles out as dinner time and like magic the pickles were gone. I snagged the juice jar. We already had canned beets so it took about two minutes to make 'pickled beets.' I also added two boiled eggs to the beet jar. The next day after that I sent a pickled pink egg in Michael's lunch. The result: one surprised and happy son-in-law. How easy.
Leave the eggs in the beets for at least two days if you like the pink to penetrate to the center of the egg. One day doesn't make all the white pink.
Like I told my friend, sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to come up with a great idea!