Dinner was ratatouille with roasted chicken breast, cooking it on one tray was my mom's idea, I was going to do it separately but I highly recommend this method instead, it's painfully easy. Chop your vegetables, toss in lots and lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and I threw in fresh thyme and basil from my little herb garden. Dump it all on a tray lined with foil and make a space for your chicken. Rub whatever olive oil mixture you have left from your veggie bowl on the chicken, and put the whole tray in the oven at 425 for an hour, stirring your veggies around every 15 minutes.
|Zucchini, red onion, eggplant, purple bell pepper, garlic, and tomato. Once it came out of the oven I topped it with more fresh basil.|
Next up: pickles. Earlier this afternoon I put 10 1/2lbs of pickling cucumbers in a cooler that we actually use to haul our meat share home (don't worry, I washed it well) and covered them with a salt water brine to begin fermenting for kosher dills. The cooler was the only food grade plastic item I could find in my house to hold that many cucumbers plus the water.
With the remaining cucumbers I searched the web for a sliced dill pickle recipe since they were too large to can in spears or whole. I found a few recipes but this one seemed easy and most likely to actually work. I have a lot of cucumbers and not a huge amount of white vinegar remaining so I scaled out what vinegar I had (8cups) and altered the recipe from there. I figured I would get 6 quarts of pickles or thereabouts (I don't have enough pint jars to do pints of pickles as the recipe calls for) but alas, once I got the jars in the pan I heard a bang, which can only mean one thing: jar explosion.
So only four quarts of sliced garlic dills done for this evening. I still have over a quart of brine remaining and will have to continue tomorrow. Since I had to fish out broken glass and pickle slices out of boiling water I decided to call it a night and relax with a nice glass of strawberry shrub and seltzer. Oh, you don't know what strawberry shrub is? It's this. And it's highly addictive. My new obsession.